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  • Lo Furneaux

How to Pursue the Recovery of Your Digital Assets

Use this report form to report your lost or stolen cryptocurrencies, NFTs or other digital assets.

If you want to formally pursue the recovery of your lost or stolen cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other digital assets, typically you will need to:

  1. (Optional) Collect Court-Approved Evidence

  2. Engage Local Law Enforcement

  3. In the absence of Law Enforcement, your only other option is to engage an experienced Crypto Crime Lawyer in your country of residence

1. (Optional) Collect Court-Approved Evidence:

There are usually two steps involved with gathering court-approved evidence when pursuing the recovery of your funds.

The first step is a simple Summary Analysis that is conducted to determine where your funds went after they were lost or stolen. Fraudulent funds typically end up in one of three scenarios:

  1. Scenario 1: a wallet we can identify - in which case Law Enforcement and/or a Lawyer can be engaged to support recovery

  2. Scenario 2: An anonymous wallet - in which case we are in a holding pattern indefinitely

  3. Scenario 3: A dark mixing service - in which case your case is closed and recovery is considered impossible.

A simple Summary Analysis is usually provided by a private company with a crypto crime investigation service, like Asset Reality.

The second step is a Formal Analysis that can be used as evidence in a court and supported with witness testimony if required. A private company with a crypto crime investigation service, like Asset Reality, will prepare this document.

This report is NOT needed in the majority of crypto-related fraud cases and should NOT be purchased without being instructed to do so by your local law enforcement and/or your appointed lawyer.

You are NOT required to purchase evidence-based analysis to report your Fraud to your local law enforcement agency or your country’s cyber fraud reporting service.

Next Steps

If you were to engage a private firm like Asset Reality for evidence collection, your next steps will depend on the scenario your funds fall into:

Scenario 1

If your lost or stolen funds were traced to a wallet we are able to identify, you should take your simple Summary Analysis to your local law enforcement agency.

Scenario 2

If your lost or stolen funds were traced to an anonymous wallet, you will be in an indefinite holding pattern until the wallet’s identity can be discovered or the funds are moved again.

Scenario 3

Recovery is extremely unlikely if your lost or stolen funds were traced to a dark mixing service. In situations like these, the case will usually be closed as nothing further can be done.

You cannot pursue a recovery without Law Enforcement and/or Lawyers.

2. Engage Local Law Enforcement:

If your local law enforcement agency has the skills, resources and ability to pursue your case, you will not need to appoint a lawyer. However, please be aware that law enforcement tends to prioritise bigger ticket crimes first and, if you lost less than $75,000, it may be some time before they get to your case.

You should ALWAYS report your case to the law enforcement agencies or cyber fraud reporting services in your area, even if you do not intend to pursue recovery. Once it’s been reported, your case may be linked to other, larger cases with better chances of recovery. While there is no guarantee of a positive outcome for your case in the future; if you choose not to report the crime you will be highly unlikely to ever recover your losses.

Unfortunately, many law enforcement agencies around the world have not been trained in crypto crime investigations. If this is the case for your local agency, Asset Reality provides a free cryptocurrency training academy for corporate, government and law enforcement entities.

Please note that Asset Reality does not report cases to law enforcement on your behalf. We strongly advise that you also report your case to your local police department.

3. Engage Experienced Lawyers:

Without law enforcement, you will need to find an experienced crypto crime lawyer in your country of residence to keep pursuing the recovery of your lost or stolen funds.

While you may be able to find a lawyer in your country of residence that is willing to work on a no-win-no-fee basis, in most cases, engaging an experienced cryptocurrency lawyer will cost you around US$50,000. Though Asset Reality cannot refer you to any specific legal team, we know how to spot an experienced cryptocurrency lawyer. We’d encourage you to read our guide to finding a reputable lawyer with experience in crypto asset recovery carefully before contacting any attorneys in your local area.

Once appointed, your lawyer will determine the level of evidence-based analysis required in your case and prepare any necessary paperwork to continue the recovery process.

Overall, it is worth knowing:

Whether you are engaging law enforcement or an experienced legal team, the process of recovery could take anywhere from several months to several years, with no guarantee of success.

Thanks to current technology limitations, slow regulation and limited resources, pursuing the recovery of losses less than US$75,000 can be very difficult, and in some cases, impossible.

At Asset Reality, we are working to change this.

Reporting your lost or stolen cryptocurrencies, NFTs or digital assets to Asset Reality ensures that your assets are registered on a database of crypto-related crimes. This database is used by law enforcement agencies around the world to cross reference criminal activity and match cases into larger fraud investigations that may lead to a more positive outcome for you in the future.

By submitting your crypto fraud report, you are actively helping to advance our work with law enforcement and government agencies around the world to increase the likelihood of recovery.

We realise that this is a stressful time for you.

If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend that you register for one of our Crypto Victim Education Webinars to get your questions answered by our crypto crime experts.

Please note that our crypto crime experts are unable to answer case-specific questions in this forum.

For More Help

Check out our other instructional guides if you need help securing your wallet, setting up your new wallet or taking the necessary security measures to protect your devices.

Take a look at the 6 Stages of Fraud Recovery to learn more about the investigation process and some obstacles along the way.

To discuss your specific requirements or learn more about any of our services, please get in touch via the contact form.

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