FBI Warns of Surge in Crypto Recovery Scams: Watch Out for These Signs!


August 16, 2023

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FBI Warns of Surge in Crypto Recovery Scams: Watch Out for These Signs!

The FBI has issued a public service announcement warning of a rise in cryptocurrency recovery schemes exploiting victims who lost crypto to fraud, scams and outright theft.

According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), US citizens reported more than $2.5 billion in lost cryptocurrency from investment frauds alone last year.

Scammers scout for victims on social media or messaging platforms and claim to provide cryptocurrency tracing, advertising the ability to recover lost funds. Other attack avenues include ads for fraudulent cryptocurrency recovery services in the comment sections of online news articles and videos about cryptocurrency, and online search results for queries about cryptocurrency.

Fraudsters claim affiliation with police or legal services. Once they establish rapport with the victim, scammers 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 fees to recover funds.

“Private sector recovery companies cannot issue seizure orders to recover cryptocurrency,” the FBI warns. “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.”

Crypto holders are urged to be wary of ads promoting 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,” the agency stresses.

Do not release any financial or personal information to unknown individuals contacting you to offer crypto recovery services, according to another tip.

Crypto traders should also be aware that police don’t charge victims for investigating crimes. If someone claims an affiliation with the FBI, don’t hesitate to contact your local FBI field office directly to confirm.

If scammers can contact you directly via phone, SMS, instant messaging or email, your personal details were likely compromised in a leak or data breach. Use Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection to instantly find out if your data has leaked online, what type of information was compromised, what risks you face, and whether your information is for sale on the dark web.

For US citizens, Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection covers damages and financial loss from identity theft, complete with identity theft restoration services, and insurance up to $2 million.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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