MetaMask has a plan to help victims of crypto fraud

MetaMask has a plan to help victims of crypto fraud

The popular Ethereum wallet has partnered with recovery specialist Asset Reality.

MetaMask, the browser-based wallet for navigating the world of Web 3, can now help victims of crypto fraud and phishing attacks recover their lost assets - or at least try to.

London-based Asset Reality, a specialist in the investigation and recovery of stolen crypto assets, will act as a case handler, helping MetaMask users around the world conduct an investigation should they fall victim to a scam, the companies announced Thursday.

MetaMask, which now has more than 30 million monthly active users, receives many inquiries about losses, many of which come from malicious actors conducting phishing attacks or engaging in some type of social engineering, said Alex Herman, MataMask's support product lead.

"We wanted to give users something beyond a handshake and good luck at the end of our interaction," Herman said in an interview. "Partnering with Asset Reality gives users the ability to do research to track down and potentially recover their stolen funds. That means there's at least some light at the end of the tunnel."

The average amount lost in a crypto scam is a staggering $25,000, according to Asset Reality, but can occasionally exceed $1 million. Part of the recovery process involves blockchain analytics (Asset Reality works with a number of crypto detectives, including Chainalysis).

Then there's the more traditional work required to initiate a civil lawsuit. That typically includes lawyers, serving information notices to exchanges and so on, said Aidan Larkin, CEO of Asset Reality. The help MetaMask offers wallet users is a courtesy; Asset Reality is not in it to win a percentage of recovered assets, Larkin added.

Once a MetaMask user makes a report, Asset Reality conducts an initial investigation, which includes some blockchain analytics that give the user an understanding of what happened. The recovery firm also acts as an expert witness if the user wants to be connected with an attorney or join a larger class action lawsuit, Larkin explained.

"It's about people being able to make that initial report and pursue their case with trusted partners," Larkin said in an interview. "We're not saying you're going to get your funds back tomorrow. These are civil cases that are very complex, but there will be opportunities where we can identify stolen assets that are on platforms around the world and work together to get those assets back to the victim legally."