Steps you can take if you have been scammed using cryptocurrency.
Unfortunately, crypto scams are reality. Preventing scams before they happen is a priority, but what should you do if you have already become the victim of a scam?
There are a few steps you can take that will improve your chances of catching the criminal and possibly getting some type of reimbursement in the process.
Before beginning, we would like to make it clear that it can be hard to catch a crypto criminal, although not impossible especially if you can get help from a centralized exchange where funds are being held.
The first step would be to find out what address your stolen funds have been sent to. It is very likely that the person that stole your money has made many transactions to “wash” the funds. It’s even possible for scammers to move the funds around and become untraceable. If this happens, you may be out of luck. The good news is that not all scammers use these tricks, which sometimes makes it possible to track them to a centralized exchange KYC (know your customer) point.
Tracking through a blockchain explorer.
- You will need to find the transaction where the scammer sent your funds to another wallet on a blockchain explorer like https://snowtrace.io/ Click on the address that they sent funds “To”
2. Once you go to the address the funds were sent to, you may have to keep following more transactions (repeating the previous step) until you see where the funds finally ended up.
3. Some wallets have many transactions, so it may be hard to find the transactions inside their wallets, but you need to find where the funds came into the new wallet and if they left. If they did get sent to another wallet, you will need to follow that transaction as well until you find which wallet your funds are being stored in.
4. Once you find your funds, you can dig around into their transactions in the wallet (and also wallets they are connected to), you want to find a major exchange wallet. Many times the exchange wallet will be labeled as “Binance” or “Kucoin”. This means that instead of displaying the wallet address, it will display the name of the exchange.
You need to save the transaction hashes and wallets involved (more connections and easy to read proof is best, you want to make this as easy to read as possible.) This will help you when you report your stolen funds to the exchange.
Report the crime to your local authorities
- Report the crime to your local authorities.
- Create a report that authorities can use to make an official police report. Again, more data is better. Include as much relevant information as you can.
- Obtain an official copy of the police report.
Contact the centralized exchange
- Contact the exchange that the scammer’s wallets are connected to.
Some exchanges have a protocol for this. While solid customer service is hard to come by via centralized exchanges, there are people that have successfully frozen scammer accounts and also received some type of reimbursements.
- Please remember that most of this is situational. This is why we cannot stress enough, please gather as much data as you possibly can. If there is a chance of getting your funds back, having the data to support you will help your situation.
Fight back against Scams
If you are interested in making a difference and helping the overall Avalanche Network, join our discord become a verified Detective! You can start by joining our discord and asking questions if you need help! https://discord.gg/avaxdyor