Crypto Scammer Begins to Return $34.7 Million Stolen Assets

Crypto Scammer Begins to Return $34.7 Million Stolen Assets

By: Isha Das

One of the most notable cryptocurrency scams in recent times saw a major twist: the crypto scammer who swindled a victim out of 1,155 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), equivalent to approximately $70.5 million, has started returning the stolen assets, as shown by on-chain data. The victim had fallen prey to an address-poisoning scam, an insidious phishing scheme often resulting in individuals transferring digital assets to fraudulent addresses.

Shortly after the fraud, the criminal immediately converted the WBTC into 22,956 Ether (ETH) and widely dispersed the amount to obfuscate the trail. A 10% bounty was put up by the victim in exchange for the return of 90% of the stolen funds. On May 9, a total of 51 ETH, worth about $150,000, was sent by the attacker back to the victim, suggesting the beginning of a negotiation process.

The scam had evolved over several days with the con artist laundering funds and dispersing assets throughout multiple wallets, resulting in a crypto shell game and creating a bleak outcome for the victim. However, nearly 50% of the stolen funds, equivalent to about 11,446.87 ETH or $34.7 million, have already been returned to the victim's digital wallet. This development presents a shocking turn in the aftermath of what appeared to be an unrecoverable loss.

To date, over $45 million worth of ETH has been recouped and the transactions continue. While it's still a mystery as to why the scammer began returning the funds, we can't help but ask: Was it a change of heart or fear of the determination and persistence of the cryptocurrency community? Lastly, it is important to remain vigilant and always double-check addresses when transferring assets to prevent falling prey to similar scams.

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