British cyber gang ‘stole large amounts from US sports and music stars and posed as them online’ 

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British cyber gang ‘stole large amounts from US sports and music stars and posed as them online after accessing their phones and taking over their accounts’

  • British gang stole money, bitcoin and personal information from US celebrities
  • It also hacked into the social media accounts of the victims to post content
  • Eight suspects, between 18 and 26, had been arrested in England and Scotland 


Eight Britons have been arrested for hacking into the phones of US celebrities to steal money and personal information – even posing as them online.

Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said sports stars, musicians and their families had been targeted by the scam in which criminals gain access to their victim’s phones or accounts.

This allowed them to steal money, bitcoin and personal information, as well as hack their victims’ social media accounts to post content and messages, the NCA said.

British police said eight suspects, aged between 18 and 26, had been arrested in England and Scotland (stock photo)

British police said eight suspects, aged between 18 and 26, had been arrested in England and Scotland (stock photo)

Sports stars, musicians and their families had been targeted by the scam in which criminals gain access to their victim's phones or accounts (stock photo)

Sports stars, musicians and their families had been targeted by the scam in which criminals gain access to their victim’s phones or accounts (stock photo) 

The investigation, which involved the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), discovered a network operating in Britain. 

British police said eight suspects, aged between 18 and 26, had been arrested in England and Scotland.

‘This network targeted a large number of victims in the U.S. and regularly attacked those they believed would be lucrative targets, such as famous sports stars and musicians,’ said Paul Creffield, head of operations in the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.

‘As well as causing a lot of distress and disruption, we know they stole large sums from their victims, from either their bank accounts or bitcoin wallets.’

SIM-swapping involves cyber crooks taking control of a victim’s phone number by essentially deactivating their SIM and switching the allocated number to a SIM belonging to one of the criminal gang.

The criminals then reset passwords on apps, giving them access to their victims contacts, banking details, emails and social media accounts.

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