AT&T sued for $224M over cryptocurrency loss

An U.S. investor has filed a $224 million lawsuit against telecoms giant AT&T over alleged negligence that he claims caused him to lose $24 million in crypto. Plaintiff Michael Terpin has reportedly filed a 69-page complaint with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against his erstwhile telecoms provider, alleging that $24 million in cryptocurrency was stolen via a "digital identity theft" of his cell phone account.

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I would love to hate on AT&T, but when it comes to a currency with no safety checks, you should do everything possible to secure it.

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1 minute ago, Stephen said:

I would love to hate on AT&T, but when it comes to a currency with no safety checks, you should do everything possible to secure it.

Yeah that amount of crypto should’ve been in hard storage locked up in a vault. Also everyone should stop using text messages for 2FA and switch to authenticators.

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4 minutes ago, Sefko Trafikant said:

Yeah that amount of crypto should’ve been in hard storage locked up in a vault. Also everyone should stop using text messages for 2FA and switch to authenticators.

If your millions were secured only by a SIM card, you're amateur

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1 minute ago, Joanna said:

If your millions were secured only by a SIM card, you're amateur

True, but AT&T still has a legal responsibility to protect the data

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Reading the complaint, his phone was hacked previously, and he talked with AT&T to put a security PIN and enhanced security measures on his account. They promised additional security and failed to deliver on that promise, since the hackers didn’t need the PIN to actually port out the SIM.

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10 minutes ago, Sefko Trafikant said:

Yeah that amount of crypto should’ve been in hard storage locked up in a vault. Also everyone should stop using text messages for 2FA and switch to authenticators.

Yeah, but if he would have had that money in a bank, with insurance that would have covered his loss, then the government would have been able to monitor his accounts! 

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14 hours ago, Nigerian Price said:

Yeah, but if he would have had that money in a bank, with insurance that would have covered his loss, then the government would have been able to monitor his accounts! 

More importantly, and more realistically, some over-zealous prosecutor (or Homeland Security heavies) would have seized his cash, instituted civil forfeiture proceedings, and then he has to go sue the US Government with the burden of proof on him to prove that the funds were not flowing from criminal activities.  This whole civil forfeiture thing has been turning into this draconian Orwellian nightmare for lots and lots of very ordinary people.  You would be surprised at the number of cases of people innocently driving down the highway, getting stopped in some ridiculous hick State such as Oklahoma or Arkansas, the cops bust open the trunk, and find some cash in a duffel bag.  So they just take it! 

You want your money back?  (And sometimes they take your car while they are at it, all "civil forfeiture" without a shred of anything, because it is "civil," not criminal.  They just take it without any charges or claim of wrongdoing ever being filed.)  Now you have to sue them, even though you are flat broke, and you have to prove to the Court where your money came from. 

Anybody who keeps money in a US (or Canadian) bank is foolish.  Move your coin to Britain or Holland, places that are serious about preserving your property rights. 

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Apart from all of the fine comments already made, I want to address the lawsuit, and maybe not in the way one would expect.  Only in America is the legal system set up to allow lawyers to fight otherwise indefensible issues, at least indefensible in the eyes of the government and corporations.  In America, lawyers are allowed, if not encouraged, to question the system, even to include the judge's otherwise unilateral rulings.  From the McDonald's "hot coffee" lawsuit all the way to this one, I am thankful that there are people willing to fight for our individual and collective rights, even when we may initially laugh about the issue, deride the individual and/or his/her lawyer, or outright dismiss it as stupid.  Lawsuits such as this one will have an effect on issues as yet unidentified, that may affect each and every one of us in the future.  I would argue, as I'm sure the lawsuit does (69 page complaint), that there are many factors at work in this case to not only ensure the man who lost his money has little to no recourse, but that a whole new innovative currency form does not survive, and everything in between.  And I'm also sure that 69 pages is just the tip of the iceberg.  Food for thought.  IMHO.  

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(edited)

I will quickly add:  In my travels and experiences around the world, I have often been amazed at what powers lawyers in most countries have, or more to the point, do NOT have.  In some cases a lawyer has absolutely no power, other than to be a broker for payoffs.  In other cases, in 1st world courtrooms, the lawyer is only allowed to submit his case in writing for a judge to review and rule on.  Many other examples, but I thought I'd just point out a couple at different ends of the spectrum.

Edited by Dan Warnick

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