Scammers are getting smarter and taking advantage of new technology, new products, or services. They are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. But they eventually get caught someday like the case of
Graham Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old resident in Tampa, Florida, who was arrested for hacking prominent Twitter accounts and scamming people with a “Bit-Con” hoax on July 15, 2020.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced 30 felony charges against Clark for “scamming people across America, perpetrating the ‘Bit-Con’ hack of prominent Twitter accounts including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk,” according to his statement.
Clark is accused of hacking Twitter accounts of celebrities on July 15 and posting messages that directed victims to send Bitcoin to him, according to the statement. He received more than $10,000 in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that is “difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam,” Warren said.
These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that,” Warren added.
The statement said that the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice located the suspect in Hillsborough after a “complex nationwide investigation.” Clark, whom Warren called “the mastermind of the recent hack of Twitter,” was arrested on the morning of July 31 in Tampa, Flordia, his arrest report shows.
“I want to congratulate our federal law enforcement partners—the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service—as well as the Florida Department of Law enforcement. They worked quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrator of a sophisticated and extensive fraud,” Warren said.
Twitter responded by thanking law enforcement for its “swift actions,” and said it would continue to cooperate with the investigation.
Clark was born on January 9, 2003, and is a resident of Tampa, Florida, his arrest report shows. He was arrested at 06:39 a.m. on July 31 in an apartment in northern Tampa, about 2.6 miles away from his registered address. Despite being a minor, Clark was described by Warren as “the mastermind of the recent Twitter hack,” and conducted “a sophisticated and extensive fraud.”
“He’s a 17-year-old kid who apparently just graduated high school. But make no mistake, this was not an ordinary 17-year-old. This was a highly sophisticated attack on a magnitude not seen before,” Warren said in a news conference.
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