Amir Hossein Golshan, 25, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 96 months in prison for perpetrating multiple cybercrime schemes, including one involving SIM swapping.
Between April 2019 and February 2023, Golshan caused roughly $740,000 in losses to hundreds of victims, as a result of various online scams and unauthorized access to digital accounts.
According to court documents, Golshan took over victims’ social media accounts, impersonated Apple support, and engaged in Zelle payment fraud schemes.
To take control of victims’ social media accounts, he used a technique called SIM swapping, in which he convinced mobile phone carriers to transfer the victims’ numbers to SIM cards in his possession.
This allowed Golshan to obtain two-factor authentication codes sent via text messages and access the victims’ accounts.
In addition to taking over the owners’ accounts, Golshan targeted their friends, tricking them into sending him money.
In one instance, after taking control over an influencer’s Instagram account, he asked the victim’s friends to send him thousands of dollars via PayPal, Zelle, and other online payment platforms. He also locked the victim out of the account, demanding $2,000 for returning access to the account.
He also defrauded individuals by advertising fake and non-existent Instagram services, demanding fees of several hundred dollars. Using the SIM swapping and Zelle schemes, he received approximately $82,000 in payments from roughly 500 victims.
By impersonating Apple support, Golshan gained access to victims’ iCloud accounts, to steal NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other digital property. In total, he defrauded five individuals of between $2,000 and $389,000 each.
In addition to the prison sentence, Golshan was ordered to pay over $1.2 million in restitution. In July, he pleaded guilty to using SIM swapping against three victims.