Share this article If you liked this article share it with your friends.
Expert Verified
11 min read

How to Recover Stolen Cryptocurrency in 2024

Our Editorial Standards

Quick answer:

  • Contact wallet provider: Immediately inform your crypto wallet provider about the theft.
  • Report to exchanges: Notify all relevant cryptocurrency exchanges where the stolen cryptocurrency might be traded.
  • Law enforcement: Report lost funds to the relevant law enforcement agencies.
  • Use blockchain analysis: Employ blockchain explorers to track the movement of your stolen digital assets.
  • Secure remaining assets: Change passwords and enable two-factor authentication on all related accounts to prevent further losses.

In 2024, cryptocurrency theft continues to surge alongside mainstream adoption. In the first three months of the year, nearly 50 crypto attacks resulted in approximately $430 million worth of stolen crypto.

This figure is even more concerning than it was in previous years. The first quarter of 2024 brought one-third of the total number of crypto heists reported last year and practically the same number reported in 2019 and 2020.

Recovering stolen cryptocurrency remains a complex challenge, with victims losing millions annually. However, immediate action can significantly increase your chances of recovering your funds.

An Easier Way: swissmoney App
An Easier Way: swissmoney App
Fiat or crypto, Android or iOS we promise you the best Swiss quality experience.
Get it now

Can stolen crypto be recovered?

The possibility of recovering stolen crypto depends on the specifics of the situation. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Partial recovery: In some cases, some of your stolen crypto might be recoverable. This could involve freezing funds on exchanges, working with law enforcement to track transactions, or utilizing specialized tracing services.
  • Full recovery: Unfortunately, full recovery of scammed crypto is not guaranteed. Scammers often move stolen funds quickly across complex networks, making them difficult to trace.
  • Prevention is critical: While recovery is challenging, prevention is crucial. By following security best practices like two-factor authentication and secure storage of private keys, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to a scam in the first place.

Ways to recover stolen cryptocurrency

Ways to recover stolen cryptocurrency

Experiencing cryptocurrency theft can be distressing, but swift and strategic action may help you regain your lost digital assets. Recovering stolen cryptocurrency is a multi-faceted process involving several key steps.

Below is a guide detailing the measures you can undertake to reclaim your crypto:

  1. Immediate notification: Alert your wallet provider and any exchanges where the stolen crypto could appear.
  2. Report the theft: File reports with local law enforcement and possibly the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  3. Engage in crypto recovery services: Consider companies specializing in recovering digital assets.
  4. Community assistance: Reach out to the cryptocurrency community for support and to raise awareness of the theft.

The following table presents a step-by-step recovery strategy with an estimated success ratio:

Step Action details Estimated success ratio
Contact wallet provider Inform them of the theft to watch for any incoming transactions. Moderate
Report to cryptocurrency exchanges Notify them to flag and monitor for the stolen funds. Moderate to High
Law enforcement involvement File a theft report for a formal investigation. Variable
Seek professional help Enlist services that specialize in tracking and recovering lost or stolen cryptocurrency. Low to Moderate
Use blockchain analysis Utilize tools to track the flow of your stolen assets. Moderate to High
Secure remaining assets Change passwords and employ security features like two-factor authentication on your accounts. High
Monitor and act Keep an eye on wallet addresses and act quickly if funds move. Moderate
Leverage the crypto community Use forums and social media to report the theft and get assistance in tracking your funds. Moderate

1. Contact wallet provider

When you discover your cryptocurrency has been stolen, the first action is to contact your wallet provider. They have protocols to monitor and possibly halt any unauthorized transactions.

  • Alert the provider about the theft immediately.
  • Provide any transaction IDs or wallet addresses involved.
  • Ask for any recent activities that could trace the thief.

2. Report to cryptocurrency exchanges

Notifying exchanges where the stolen cryptocurrency might be transacted is a critical step. Exchanges can flag the involved accounts, which might prevent the thief from cashing out.

  • Contact all exchanges where you have accounts.
  • Provide them with the details of the theft.
  • Request that they track and flag any suspicious activity linked to your stolen assets.

3. Law enforcement involvement

Law enforcement agencies are essential allies in pursuing your lost or stolen funds. Filing a detailed report with your local police and potentially federal agencies can initiate a formal investigation, which may help recover your stolen cryptocurrency.

  • Report the theft to local and national law enforcement agencies.
  • Provide all relevant details to aid the investigation.
  • Keep consistent follow-up for any updates on your case.

4. Seek professional help

Recovery services possess the necessary expertise in digital forensics to potentially track down your stolen cryptocurrency and may offer avenues for recovery you haven’t considered.

  • Research and choose a reputable crypto recovery service.
  • Share detailed information about your stolen assets with them.
  • Work closely with them to track down your digital currencies.

5. Use blockchain analysis

Blockchain analysis tools can provide insight into where your stolen cryptocurrency has gone and might be able to predict where it will go next.

  • Engage a blockchain analysis expert or service.
  • Monitor the path of the stolen crypto in real-time.
  • Use the transaction history to identify patterns that could lead to the thief.

📚Related: How Does Blockchain Support Data Privacy?

6. Secure remaining assets

Update your security protocols to ensure that your remaining digital assets are secure. This will not only prevent further losses but also reinforce the safety of your investments. Remember, the private key is akin to the master key of your bank account; securing it ensures the safety of your lost crypto assets.

  • Change all login credentials associated with your crypto accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
  • Regularly review and update your security settings to prevent future breaches.

7. Monitor and act

After the theft, accessing your crypto wallet to check for lost funds becomes a critical step toward damage assessment. Stay vigilant by monitoring your accounts and the blockchain for any movement of your stolen cryptocurrency. Quick action could help you recover your funds.

  • Use blockchain explorers to track your stolen crypto.
  • Set up alerts for any activity related to your digital assets.
  • Be ready to inform authorities and exchanges immediately upon noticing any movement.

8. Leverage the crypto community

The crypto community can be a valuable resource in your recovery efforts. Their collective knowledge and experience may offer you additional support.

  • Share your experience on crypto forums and social media platforms.
  • Ask community members for advice and possible recovery strategies.
  • Utilize community resources to raise awareness and prevent similar thefts for others.

While not all stolen crypto is recoverable, following these guidelines can help to increase the chances of success.

How to recover stolen crypto from Trust Wallet

trustwallet homepage

When you realize your lost funds have been siphoned from your crypto wallet, immediate action is paramount. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you suspect your Trust Wallet has been compromised:

1. Act quickly

  • Stop all transactions: Immediately turn off any ongoing transactions within your Trust Wallet app. This could help prevent further loss.
  • Gather evidence: Collect as much information as possible about the suspected theft, including transaction details, timestamps, and wallet addresses involved.

2. Secure your remaining assets

  • Change passwords: Update your Trust Wallet password and any associated email addresses with strong, unique passwords. Don’t reuse passwords across different platforms.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for unauthorized access. Activate 2FA on your Trust Wallet and linked email accounts.

3. Report the theft

  • Contact Trust Wallet support: Report the theft directly to Trust Wallet’s support team. Explain the situation in detail and provide the evidence you gathered. Depending on their policies and capabilities, they may offer guidance and assistance.
  • File a police report: Even if the chances of immediate recovery seem low, filing a police report creates an official record of the crime and could be helpful for future investigations or tracking purposes.

Please note that Trust Wallet cannot directly recover stolen cryptocurrency. However, reporting the theft and taking swift action may help with investigations and potentially prevent further losses.

How to recover stolen crypto from MetaMask

MetaMask wallet

Recovering lost or stolen cryptocurrency from MetaMask can be difficult, but taking prompt action can significantly improve your chances. Here’s a guide on what to do if you suspect your MetaMask wallet has been compromised:

1. Take immediate action

  • Stop transactions: Disable any ongoing transactions within your MetaMask wallet to prevent further loss.
  • Gather evidence: Collect details about the suspected theft, including transaction IDs, timestamps, and wallet addresses involved.

2. Secure your remaining assets

  • Change passwords: Update your MetaMask password and any associated email addresses with strong passwords. Avoid reusing the same passwords across different platforms.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification code for login attempts. Activate 2FA on your MetaMask and linked email accounts.

3. Report the theft

  • Contact MetaMask support: Report the theft directly to MetaMask’s support team. Explain the situation in detail and provide the evidence you gathered. MetaMask cannot recover stolen funds directly but may offer assistance or guidance.
  • File a police report: While recovering stolen crypto may seem unlikely initially, filing a police report creates an official record of the crime and could aid investigations or future tracking efforts.

It’s important to note that MetaMask is a self-custodial wallet, meaning you hold the private keys to your funds. If your private keys are compromised, MetaMask cannot recover stolen crypto.

How to recover stolen crypto from Coinbase

Coinbase wallet page

While recovering stolen cryptocurrency from any platform can be challenging, Coinbase, as a centralized exchange, may offer additional avenues for recovery compared to self-custodial wallets.

Here’s what to do if you suspect your Coinbase account has been compromised:

1. Act swiftly

  • Disable your account: Immediately contact Coinbase support and request them to disable your account to prevent further unauthorized activity.
  • Gather evidence: Collect details about the suspected theft, including transaction IDs, timestamps, wallet addresses involved, and any suspicious emails or communication.

2. Secure your remaining assets

  • Change your password: Update your Coinbase password and any associated email addresses with unique passwords. Don’t reuse passwords across different platforms.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification code for login attempts. Activate 2FA on your Coinbase account and linked email accounts.

📚Related: Cryptocurrency Security 

3. Report the theft to Coinbase

  • Contact Coinbase support: Report the theft immediately to Coinbase support. Explain the situation in detail and provide the evidence you gathered. They may offer assistance, such as freezing suspicious transactions or helping you regain account control.
  • Review Coinbase’s security settings: Explore Coinbase’s security settings and configure them to your risk tolerance. This might include enabling address-safe listing or transaction confirmations.

4. Consider filing a police report

Even though Coinbase may offer some recovery options, filing a police report creates an official crime record. While retrieving stolen funds might not happen immediately, this could aid future investigations or tracking efforts.

5. Coinbase’s account recovery process

  • Follow Coinbase’s instructions: Coinbase may have a specific account recovery process. Follow their instructions diligently and provide any required information.
  • Estimated success rate: The success rate of Coinbase’s account recovery process depends on the case’s specifics and how quickly you acted.

Even following all these steps, Coinbase may not always be able to recover stolen cryptocurrency, especially if the theft involved compromised private keys or unauthorized access from your end.

Are there any crypto recovery services or platforms out there?

Are there any crypto recovery services or platforms out there?

Several crypto recovery services and platforms are dedicated to helping individuals track down and potentially recover their lost or stolen cryptocurrency. The number of services necessary will vary depending on the case’s complexity and the loss’s specific circumstances.

Specialized crypto recovery agencies

These agencies offer tailored services to track lost or stolen crypto, leveraging blockchain analysis and investigative techniques.

  • They may have partnerships with law enforcement to aid in recovery efforts.
  • Such services often have experts skilled in digital forensics and crypto transactions.
  • Choosing reputable agencies is essential to avoid scams that target already victimized users.

Blockchain analysis tools and platforms

Several platforms provide blockchain analysis tools that can be used to trace the movement of stolen cryptocurrency.

  • These tools can identify the wallets to which your assets have been transferred.
  • Some platforms offer automated tracking and alerts on the movement of your digital assets.
  • Blockchain analysis can offer valuable leads that may assist recovery, although it doesn’t guarantee success.

What are the biggest challenges in the recovery of stolen crypto?

The path to recovering stolen cryptocurrency is fraught with challenges, primarily due to blockchain technology’s anonymous and decentralized nature. Two fundamental challenges need to be addressed in the recovery process.

The decentralized nature of blockchain

The very structure that makes blockchain secure also makes recovering crypto assets difficult.

  • Anonymity of transactions: Transactions on the blockchain are recorded without personal identifying information, making it hard to track the individuals behind them.
  • Irreversibility of transactions: Once confirmed, transactions on most blockchains cannot be reversed, unlike bank transactions.
  • Lack of central authority: There’s no centralized authority to appeal to for dispute resolution or to enforce transaction reversal.

Scenarios of crypto theft and recovery challenges

Recoverable scenarios and near-impossible situations have different challenges.

  • Exchange hacks: Users might be reimbursed for their lost funds if an exchange is hacked but has an insurance policy. However, this process can be lengthy and depends on the policy details and legal proceedings.
  • Private wallet breaches: Recovery from theft directly from private wallets is significantly more challenging. Without an institution’s oversight and knowing the thief’s identity, the chances of recovering these funds are slim.
  • Cross-jurisdictional issues: Crypto’s global nature means that theft could involve parties across different countries, complicating the legal process for fund recovery.

Tips for recovering stolen cryptocurrency

Tips for recovering stolen cryptocurrency

If you’re trying to recover lost or stolen cryptocurrency, there are several practical tips you can follow. These tips are designed to give you a structured approach to increasing the likelihood of getting your digital assets back.

1. Act immediately

The speed of your response can make all the difference when attempting to recover your crypto.

  • Contact relevant parties: As soon as you suspect a theft has occurred, immediately notify your wallet provider, exchanges, and law enforcement.
  • Gather and secure data: Compile all relevant information about your transactions and secure any access points to prevent further losses.
  • Monitor the blockchain: Use blockchain explorers to keep track of the movements of stolen funds.

2. Enhance security protocols

Regularly update your security protocols to prevent lost assets from becoming irretrievable. Strengthening security measures is crucial in preventing further losses and safeguarding recovered assets.

  • Change passwords: Update all login information related to your cryptocurrency accounts.
  • Implement two-factor authentication: Add an extra layer of security to all your digital wallets and exchange accounts.
  • Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest security practices and be cautious of phishing attempts and scam messages.

📚Related: What is 3D Secure Authentication? 

3. Utilize community support

The cryptocurrency community can be a valuable resource in your recovery efforts.

  • Report the theft: Discuss the theft in community forums, which can sometimes lead to helpful tips or even the identification of the thief.
  • Seek advice: Many in the crypto community have experienced similar situations and may offer helpful advice or steps they’ve taken.
  • Raise awareness: By sharing your experience, you contribute to a collective effort to reduce the success of crypto scams and theft.

Boost crypto security with swissmoney

swissmoney alternative

With swissmoney, you can elevate the safety of your crypto holdings through robust security protocols and innovative features.

  • Advanced user authentication: swissmoney employs advanced security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometric user recognition to protect account access.
  • Encrypted transactions: swissmoney secures transaction data with high-level encryption, ensuring your sensitive information remains private and protected from unauthorized access.
  • Cold storage solutions: To minimize the risk of theft or loss, swissmoney holds cryptocurrencies in offline cold storage solutions, preventing exposure to potential online vulnerabilities.

By choosing swissmoney for managing your digital and fiat currencies, you are opting for a platform that prioritizes the security and integrity of your financial assets.

Elevate your crypto security now with swissmoney. Protect your digital wealth with our state-of-the-art security features and enjoy peace of mind. Sign up today and take the first step towards secure cryptocurrency management.

An Easier Way: swissmoney App
An Easier Way: swissmoney App
Fiat or crypto, Android or iOS we promise you the best Swiss quality experience.
Get it now

Conclusion

The journey to recover your lost or stolen funds is undoubtedly daunting, marked by complexities, and requiring swift, informed action.

While the decentralized nature of blockchain presents inherent challenges, there are steps that victims can take towards the potential recovery of their assets. The effectiveness of these steps varies, with factors such as the type of theft, the response time, and the involvement of law enforcement and recovery services playing critical roles.

Maintaining strong security protocols is essential in safeguarding against future incidents, and platforms like swissmoney provide robust measures to protect users’ digital and fiat currencies. Stay informed and safe.

FAQs

Is scammed crypto recoverable?

Scammed crypto can sometimes be recovered, depending on how quickly you act, the measures you take, and the specifics of the scam.

Is it worth hiring a recovery specialist?

Yes, if they are reputable. Recovery specialists can provide expertise and resources that may increase the chances of getting your crypto back.

How do I recover my stolen crypto?

Immediate actions include contacting your wallet provider, reporting to cryptocurrency exchanges, and filing a report with law enforcement.

How long does it take to recover stolen crypto?

The time frame varies greatly and can range from days to years, depending on the case’s complexity and law enforcement involvement.

How much does crypto recovery cost?

Costs vary based on the service provider, the complexity of the case, and the amount of cryptocurrency stolen.

Can stolen crypto be traced?

Yes, stolen crypto can often be traced using blockchain explorers and analysis tools, although recovery is not guaranteed.

What is cryptocurrency tracing?

Cryptocurrency tracing is the process of tracking the movements of digital currencies on the blockchain to understand their flow and possibly identify the parties involved.

How can crypto transactions be traced?

Crypto transactions can be traced using blockchain analysis software that examines the transaction history on the public ledger.

Read more:

Renata Pacheco

Renata is a seasoned financial market expert with over 30 years of experience in journalism and content creation, primarily focusing on the financial market. Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial institutions such as Citibank Brasil, Fiserv in Latin America, and other notable financial entities, further honing her expertise and credibility in the sector.

For more than six years, Renata has also been writing for the crypto market, collaborating with financial publications in Brazil, the US, and Europe. Her deep understanding and extensive knowledge make her a respected voice in the industry, appreciated for her ability to demystify complex financial concepts and market trends. This skill enables her to make financial insights accessible to a wide audience, from novice investors to seasoned professionals.

Info Icon

Disclaimer

Please be advised that the information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice from swissmoney. It is important to note that swissmoney does not act as a financial adviser, and individuals are strongly encouraged to seek independent advice from qualified legal, financial, or accounting professionals before making any decisions related to cryptocurrency investments. Furthermore, investing in cryptocurrency assets carries inherent risks, and individuals should be aware that they may potentially lose all of their invested capital.
Get app
We use cookies

swissmoney companies use cookies to provide you with tailored information about our services and to improve the performance of our website and (or) app. If you agree to all cookies used, please click on the "Accept" button. If you wish to change your cookie settings, please click on the "Choose cookies" button, and if you wish to refuse all of these cookies, please click on the "Reject" button. Your cookie preferences will be stored for one year.

Important: Some cookies are essential for the proper functioning of this website. The use of these cookies is based on legitimate interest and therefore consent to their recording is not requested. For more information, see swissmoney Cookie Statement.