The FBI has issued a warning about the alarming rise of cryptocurrency recovery scams, where fraudsters masquerade as legitimate recovery firms targeting victims of cryptocurrency investment fraud. With reported losses exceeding $2.5 billion in 2022, this epidemic of scams is exacerbated by the prevalence of information-stealing malware and phishing attacks, contributing to an even larger unreported total.
Exploiting the desperation of victims, these recovery scheme scammers capitalize on their vulnerability, promising to retrieve lost funds while ultimately deceiving them for a second time.
These fraudulent entities employ various tactics to reach their victims, from direct outreach on social media and messaging platforms to advertisements in comment sections of cryptocurrency-related content or within online search results.
Despite efforts by platforms like Twitter to combat these scams, they persist. Scammers often request advance fees or deposits for their purported recovery services and may manipulate victims into further payments by presenting incomplete tracing reports, falsely indicating the need for additional resources.
The FBI emphasizes that these scammers frequently present themselves as affiliated with law enforcement or other legitimate organizations to gain trust. However, the Bureau asserts that no private entity has the authority to issue seizure orders for recovering stolen digital assets. To protect against such scams, individuals are urged to exercise caution and avoid trusting recovery services promoted through internet ads, comments, and social media.
Victims are advised to report incidents to law enforcement agencies and consider pursuing civil litigation to recover lost assets, while maintaining thorough records of interactions with suspicious individuals. Despite the challenges posed by these deceptive recovery companies operating under false identities, vigilance remains crucial in safeguarding against cryptocurrency recovery scams.