Have you been the victim of a crypto scam? Whether it was a small amount, or a good chunk of your investment, realizing you’ve been victimized can be devastating. In order to get retribution against a crypto scam, it’s important to gather as much information about the scammer (and their timeline) as possible.
Here’s how to get started investigating a crypto scam:
Stop sending money and information
The first thing you want to do is make sure you don’t send them anything else. The next thing you want to do is make sure that they don’t have any access to your money, your personal information, or your financial information. Think about what you sent them by email, and what documents you’ve uploaded. You may want to change your credit cards. You may want to get a new driver’s license depending on what information they have.
Report to the IC3
Once you’ve verified that your accounts are disconnected from the scammer, file a complaint with the FBI through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). If you wish, you can also file a notice with your local police department. Local police departments are not equipped to investigate online scams, but it may be helpful for you to open up a case.
What is considered evidence in a crypto scam investigation? Anything sent from the scammer or associated with them. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Screenshots of all conversations (text, email, chat, etc.)
- Names/company names
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- IP addresses
- Crypto trading platform
- URLs for links they’ve sent
- Wallet ID
Once your evidence is gathered, or as you’re gathering it, create a timeline of the crypto scam. Having a factual timeline with evidence will help to clear up inconsistencies and eliminate bias while you’re investigating the scammer.
Devise a plan for future communications
Now that the scam has been revealed and you’ve gathered evidence, it’s time to decide what to do with communications. Will you cut off communications completely? Will you pretend you’re not onto them and try to get more revealing information about who they are? It’s important that whatever you choose, you do not put yourself or others in harm’s way. If you plan to keep communication open temporarily, try to avoid telling the scammer you’re suspicions. If they feel you’re onto their scam, they may disappear before you’re able to get more information.
Start your investigation
It’s time to reveal who is behind the scam. Using the evidence you’ve gathered, begin your investigation with a simple online search for phone numbers, emails, and names to see if this particular scammer has stuck before. Depending on the evidence you’ve accumulated, your investigation will branch off from there. Make sure to make notes of additional evidence found such as other connected companies, other potential names, images, daily wallet transactions, etc.
Recoup your stolen funds
Once you’ve accurately identified the scammer, conduct an asset search on them to learn what types of assets they currently own. This will be extremely beneficial when filing for a writ of garnishment against the scammer. This final step requires legal intervention, be sure to get legal advice from a qualified attorney before proceeding with a writ of garnishment or similar asset collection.
Wanted: The Truth
Active Intel Investigations is here to help you with every aspect of your investigation, from conducting the investigation to preparing evidence to provide it in court.
Get started with your investigation, browse our video library for investigative resources, or schedule a no-obligation consultation with a licensed private investigator to discuss the specifics of your case.