A Los Angeles man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for orchestrating a series of online scams, including social media account takeovers, Zelle payment fraud, and impersonating Apple support.

Amir Hossein Golshan, 25, used a technique known as “SIM swapping” to gain unauthorized access to victims’ mobile phone numbers, enabling him to hijack their social media accounts and steal their personal information.

“From at least April 2019 to February 2023, Golshan knowingly executed multiple online schemes to defraud hundreds of victims through various online scams and unauthorized intrusions into victims’ digital accounts, including social media account takeovers, Zelle payment fraud, and impersonating Apple support,”

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 reads the U.S. Department of Justice announcement.

Golshan’s fraudulent activities caused significant financial losses for his victims, amounting to a total of over $740,000. He targeted individuals, including social media influencers, exploiting their online presence to further his schemes. By taking control of their Instagram accounts, he could solicit payments from their followers under the guise of legitimate transactions.

In addition to SIM swapping, Golshan employed other deceptive tactics, such as posing as Apple support representatives to trick victims into revealing their iCloud credentials. This allowed him to access their cloud storage and steal valuable digital assets, including NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other sensitive data.

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