Authorities have announced the conviction of Los Angeles resident Amir Hossein Golshan for a broad range of cybercrimes, including SIM-swap attacks, Zelle payment fraud, impersonating Apple support, and hijacking social media accounts.
Described in court documents as a "serial cybercriminal and scammer," Golshan was recently sentenced to eight years in prison by a California federal court and has been ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.
Over nearly four years, from April 2019 to February 2023, Golshan defrauded hundreds of individuals, netting around $740,000 from over 500 victims.
"He showed little remorse for his victims or being caught during his years of crime, believing that he could hide behind the anonymity of online screennames or VPNs, and that his victims – who were on the other side of the computer – would never find him," said the US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
Golshan's repertoire of scams was diverse and insidious. In a notable SIM-swapping attack, he seized control of an Instagram account belonging to a Los Angeles-based model and influencer.
He then contacted the victim's friends, fraudulently requesting money on her behalf through Zelle, PayPal, and other platforms. He also attempted to extort $2,000 from the victim, threatening to delete her social media accounts.
Another scam involved a fraudulent offer on Instagram, where Golshan promised to provide a verified badge for a victim's daughter's account in exchange for $300. After receiving the payment via Zelle, the badge was never delivered.
In a particularly egregious case, Golshan impersonated Apple Support personnel to access victims' Apple iCloud accounts.
He stole valuable digital assets, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. In one instance, he obtained an NFT valued at approximately $319,000 and around $70,000 in cryptocurrency, which he later sold for $130,000 on an NFT marketplace.
Adopting advanced personal cybersecurity measures is crucial to effectively shield against persistent cybercriminals like Golshan. This involves not only basic precautions but also a deeper understanding and implementation of security practices: