Nov. 14—EL PASO — Cryptocurrency “Recovery” scams target people who have already lost cryptocurrency to fraud, scams, and theft. As you are trying to make sense of the scam and are upset about losing the money, a fake cryptocurrency recovery service promises a quick fix to the devastating loss-but the only result is more money lost in a scam tailored to prey on you, the victim.
After falling victim to a cryptocurrency scam, many individuals have shared their story online to warn others or to look for solutions. The representatives of fraudulent businesses who claim to provide cryptocurrency tracing and promise an ability to recover lost funds will contact victims directly on social media or messaging platforms. Victims may also observe 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 victims directly on social media or messaging platforms.
Fraudsters have posted fake “success stories” from a make-believe victim saying how a certain cryptocurrency recovery service helped recover everything without stress.
An victim may reach out to a recovery service, only to have the recovery scammer ask for 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 fee to recover funds. The scammers may claim affiliation with law enforcement or legal services to appear legitimate.
It’s important to note that once you’ve lost cryptocurrency in a scam, it’s essentially impossible to get it back. 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 from this Scam
— 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 the FBI El Paso Field Office at (915) 832-5000 and the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov.