Stolen Bitcoins

Cryptocurrencies are a prime target for cyber fraudsters. Whether targeting your wallet directly or hacking the exchanges once cyber fraudsters have access to your currency you need to act more fiercely!

If your virtual currency hasn’t been hacked from your wallet, but you have been scammed then you have come to the right place.

We want to better understand the impact of you undergoing this issue.

  1. 1. Contact the police – Report the crime. They will log the crime and give you a crime reference number.
  2. 2. Change your login details – If you are still able to login to your account then follow the normal procedure to reset your password and other security information. Enable two-factor authentication. This should lock the criminal out of the account.
  3. 3. Notify the exchange/provider – If you have purchased or are storing your currency with a service provider then let them know about the breach and the fraudulent transactions. They may be able to retain some information about the transaction that could come in useful in an investigation.

Will I get my money back?

Once your virtual currency has been looted it is incredibly unlikely that you will be able to recover it. In theory, it’s possible to record your looted bitcoin by monitoring the blockchain – in practice, however, this is made difficult by both the anonymous nature of the currency and the fact that the thief will most likely use a bitcoin exchange to trade the currency for normal cash straight away. However, money does leave a trail and you may be able to follow it to the identity of the criminal. Even if you successfully use public ledgers to trace the currency, since most cryptocurrency is decentralized there aren’t many routes you can follow to get it back.

Approaches to dealing with stolen virtual currency

  1. 1. Check your devices for malware – It is worth considering that a malicious software infection may have led to the hacker accessing your currency. Scan the devices you use to handle your currency and make sure they are clean.
  2. 2. Call your bank – If the transaction had related costs that hit your bank account – such as transaction fees or deposits – then contact your bank immediately and let them know it is an unauthorized/fraudulent transaction.
  3. 3. Follow the money – You can follow the transactions of the wallet address that your funds were scammed into. If you notice the scammer attempting to transfer funds from the wallet to cryptocurrency exchanges to sell for flat currency, report to the relevant exchanges immediately. An opportunity to catch the scammer is to follow the money trail through blockchain explorers and trace your lost funds. This is another reason why it is important for you to file a police report as soon as the incident has taken place.
  4. 4. Hire a bounty hunter – If you are willing to pay a decent amount for the return of your funds there are websites where you can post a bounty. Experienced blockchain searchers will investigate the theft and see if they can recover the funds for a price. However, these services can often be expensive and often don’t provide any more information than what is already publicly available.

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