Muggers in London Target Crypto Holders by Taking Smartphones

05/10/2022By: L, Laura

“Crypto muggings” are becoming more and more common on the streets of London — with criminals stealing funds from wallets on victims’ Smartphones.


According to The Guardian, a mugger targeted a man who was vomiting under a bridge. The man was held against a wall and forced to unlock an app using his facial recognition.


They accessed his crypto wallet and transferred XRP worth $7,400.


The newspaper reported that the victim had agreed to go down an alley with the gang because they were offering to sell him cocaine — and had asked for his device so they could type in a phone number.


Another incident saw muggers target a man who was trying to order an Uber.


He was forced to hand over his phone — and although it was returned, he later realized $6,000 worth of Ether was missing from his Coinbase account.


Records from the City of London Police even reveal that a mugger targeted a man who was vomiting under a bridge.


The victim in this case was forced to unlock their phone using a fingerprint and their security settings were changed. Overall, they lost $35,000 — and his crypto was also stolen.


Taking Safety Precautions on Crypto Store 

Such incidents underline the importance of taking safety precautions if you’re a crypto investor.


You should try to avoid keeping large sums of crypto stored on exchanges — and use cold storage instead.


Some of the crimes recorded by the police also show why you should think twice before logging into an account in public.


Pickpockets stole a man’s cards and phone — and $12,000 was later taken from his account.


He later told officers that he feared the thieves may have seen him enter the PIN to his account.


British police forces are now receiving training to ensure they have the tools to investigate crypto crimes, according to The Guardian.


But Phil Ariss of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said investors also had a responsibility to reduce the risk of being targeted, adding:


“You wouldn’t walk down the street holding £50 notes and counting them. That should apply to people with cryptoassets.”