Increase in Companies Falsely Claiming an Ability to Recover Funds Lost in Cryptocurrency Investment Scams
The FBI warns of an increase in cryptocurrency recovery schemes, which exploit victims who lost cryptocurrency to fraud, scams, and theft
Never hire or pay a private/for-profit company to trace and recover your cryptocurrency. Only law enforcement can effectively do it and they do it for free!
According to the FBI:
In 2022, victims reported losing more than $2.5 billion in cryptocurrency investment frauds1 alone, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). But then victims were contacted by Cryptocurrency recovery scammers!
Representatives of fraudulent businesses claiming to provide cryptocurrency recovery & tracing and promising an ability to recover lost funds may contact victims directly on social media or messaging platforms. Victims may also encounter advertisements for fraudulent cryptocurrency recovery services in the comment sections of online news articles and videos about cryptocurrency; among online search results for cryptocurrency; or on social media.
Recovery scheme fraudsters charge an up-front fee and either cease communication with the victim after receiving an initial deposit or produce an incomplete or inaccurate tracing report and request additional fees to recover funds. Fraudsters may claim affiliation with law enforcement or legal services to appear legitimate.
Private sector recovery companies cannot issue seizure orders to recover cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency exchanges only freeze accounts based on internal processes or in response to legal process. Victims can also choose to pursue civil litigation to seek recovery of their funds.
Tips To Protect Yourself
- Understand that only law enforcement, government prosecutors, and the courts can recover your cryptocurrency.
- Never pay any for-profit cryptocurrency tracing company, they can give you a piece of paper and charge you thousands for it, but the police still have to do the analysis and recover and they do it for free!
- Be wary of advertisements for cryptocurrency recovery services. Research the advertised company and beware if the company uses vague language, has a minimal online presence, and makes promises regarding an ability to recover funds.
- If an unknown individual contacts you and claims to be able to recover stolen cryptocurrency, do not release any financial or personal identifying information, and do not send any money.
- Law enforcement does not charge victims a fee for investigating crimes. If someone claims an affiliation with the FBI, contact your local FBI field office to confirm.
- Provide transaction details when reporting cryptocurrency investment fraud to law enforcement. Include information about your interactions with individuals claiming to offer cryptocurrency recovery services.
The FBI requests victims report these types of fraudulent or suspicious activities to their local FBI field office and the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov. Additionally, there are more reporting resources on reporting.AgainstScams.org