Looking for how to recover stolen cryptocurrency? this article is for you.
The cryptocurrency space is filled with a lot of uncertainties.
You could go to bed and wake up the next day to find out that your cryptocurrencies have been stolen.
Most times, you might not even know who stole it or how to recover it.
Maybe you kept your cryptocurrency in a centralized exchange only to find out it’s been stolen.
For instance, the Mt. Gox hack of 2014, where over $460 million of cryptocurrency was stolen from the exchange.
Unlike traditional banks, where if your money is stolen, you can easily track it to someone’s account and have the funds frozen until it’s recovered, with cryptocurrency, it’s not that easy.
When your crypto is lost or stolen, the chances that you will get it back are low but not impossible.
In this article, I will share practical tips on how to recover your crypto if it was stolen or scammed.
If you are ready, let’s dive in.
How To Recover Stolen Cryptocurrency: The Ultimate Guide
1. Gather Evidence And Report To The Authorities
You would need proof when you report the issue to the authorities.
Your country of residence would determine who you would report to.
If you live in the United States, you can report the case of stolen crypto to the local police or the FBI’s Internet Crime and Complaint Center.
One of the downsides is that it might take a long time before they open an investigation.
Such delays can give the person who stole your crypto enough time to convert the funds to fiat and erase any footprints.
The first thing to do if you’re a victim of a cryptocurrency scam or hack is to gather evidence.
You need details such as the transaction ID, wallet address, and the amount.
2. Track The Transaction And Make A Report (Most Recommended)
Most stolen cryptocurrencies are often converted to fiat after some time; that’s why you need to keep tracking the stolen crypto until it gets to a centralized exchange for sale.
Most of the time, they move the stolen crypto to a centralized exchange like Binance or Kucoin to sell it using their peer-to-peer service.
Here’s where it gets interesting: everyone that uses the peer-to-peer service on these exchanges must be verified.
When you notice they have transferred the stolen cryptocurrency to an exchange, you report it to the exchange.
Exchanges like Binance are very swift in action, and they would immediately block the person’s account provided you have enough evidence to prove you’re the legitimate owner of the stolen cryptocurrency.
How To Track A Cryptocurrency Transaction
Paste your wallet where the crypto was stolen from or the wallet you sent to (if you were scammed) into the search bar at Blockchain Explorer.
Click the search button, and you will see all the wallet transactions.
If the wallet is Ethereum-based (ERC-20), you can use etherscan.io to track the transaction.
When the stolen fund is sent to an exchange wallet like Binance, you immediately report it to them.
3. Hire A Crypto Recovery Service
Depending on the amount you lost, you should hire a crypto recovery service.
If the amount is small, the best thing you can do is to track the transaction and report it to any exchange where the funds were sent.
If the amount stolen is large and you can afford it, hire a crypto recovery service.
Most of the recovery services have professional crypto hunters that would help you find and recover your stolen crypto.
How To Recover Stolen Crypto From A Centralized Exchange?
4. Contact The Exchange
When you notice your crypto asset has been stolen, contact the exchange’s customer support and report the incident.
If you did anything that might have exposed you to crypto theft, you should inform the exchange.
5. Work With A Professional
Depending on the amount stolen, you can hire a crypto recovery expert to help you track the stolen funds and identify the individuals behind them.
Sometimes, a centralized exchange might not take urgent action to help you recover your funds, so you have to raise awareness and call them out on social media if they don’t want to take urgent action.
How To Report Stolen Cryptocurrency
6. Contact Local Enforcement
You can start by informing your local law enforcement agencies and providing them with all the information about the incident.
However, they might not do much due to the complexities of cryptocurrency transactions and the lack of knowledge about it.
7. File A Complaint With The Regulatory Bodies
In many countries, there are government agencies in charge of financial transactions, including cryptocurrencies.
Below are some agencies where you can report crypto theft or scams, depending on your country.
United States: the FBI’s IC3 service
European Union: Europol portal
United Kingdom: Action Fraud
How To Recover Stolen Crypto From Meta Mask
8. Contact Metamask Support
The first thing to do is to contact Meta Mask support and inform them of the crypto theft. You have to provide them with information, such as the scammer’s wallet address and how the theft was carried out.
Be aware that Meta Mask cannot recover your funds because it’s a self-custodial wallet. You will have to explore other alternatives listed earlier in the article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get Back Stolen Crypto?
Yes, it’s possible but very difficult, and it could take a long time before it’s recovered.
Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, meaning it would take a long and frustrating process before recovery.
Can I Get My Crypto Back From A Scammer?
It’s nearly impossible to recover crypto sent to a scammer’s wallet address.
You can keep monitoring the transaction on the blockchain and report it when it’s moved to an exchange like Binance.
Ensure you have sufficient evidence to prove you’re the original owner of the crypto asset before it was stolen.