MetaMask, ConsenSys’ leading self-custody wallet, is delighted to today announce a new strategic partnership with Asset Reality, an end-to-end solution for recovering, managing, and accessing seized crypto and complex assets. Over the last few years, economic activity on web3 has grown exponentially. While this growth has attracted a number of highly innovative applications that will help redefine the future of financial services and the creator economy, it has also drawn the attention of online scammers and thieves. Through this partnership, MetaMask and Asset Reality will be helping victims of scams recover their digital assets where possible. This support will be available for all MetaMask users globally who have been victims of scams, including across MetaMask’s most active markets in the United States, the UK, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Brazil, France, Germany or Nigeria.
How Asset Reality will help recover funds
According to Action Fraud, victims lose on average US$25k. Losses can be as low as US$50 and occasionally exceed US$1.0m. Traditional recovery uses civil litigation, and usually involves instructing a lawyer, serving information notices on exchanges to try and identify scammers or wallets they own when tracing funds, or freezing those accounts. Unfortunately this process takes a long time, especially as there is no special crypto process, and the costs can be in excess of $75k USD.
Victims of scams often have difficulty getting sufficient resources and attention from law enforcement. Asset Reality’s offering allows multiple victims of a scam operation to join forces and build a larger forensic investigation against a scam operation.
Asset Reality will be the case handler for MetaMask’s affected users. They will take the heavy lifting off the users to build an investigation into each scam operation, greatly increasing the likelihood of fund recovery and bringing scammers to justice.
Asset Reality services will be free to MetaMask users. However, users may need to cover legal costs should they decide that the route of recovery makes economic sense. For victims whose legal costs are too high, MetaMask and Asset Reality will help them join forces with other victims as a group. There might indeed be hundreds of victims of the largest scam operations. By providing identifiable information, a person who has been a victim of a lower amount, has the opportunity to recover their funds if larger victims, and ConsenSys pursue these larger scale scam operations.
“Helping users investigate and recover lost funds is a strategic tool in a multi-faceted strategy that we are continuously executing that includes improving security, user education, and new ways to back up assets. Through this industry-leading partnership with Asset Reality, ConsenSys and MetaMask want to allow victims to join together, build cases against these scam operations and bring them to justice. It’s really important that victims of hacks come forward, no matter how small. They could reveal or be the starting point of a wider investigation and create the opportunity to aggregate claims to commence potential legal action,”
said Dan Finlay, Co-Founder of MetaMask.
How can users benefit this service
Victims of scams will be able to benefit from the following 5 simple steps:
- A user experiences account compromise and/or funds loss typically through a phishing scam
- MetaMask support will intake the users and ascertain how they were compromised, if possible, and request any relevant information regarding phishing websites, vectors, and funds lost.
- MetaMask support will provide safety tips on next steps for users and pass them to Asset Reality
- The MetaMask agent will direct the user to open a case with Asset Reality through a page on metamask.io.
- Asset Reality will take over communication with the users, and will proactively keep users updated on the status of their cases
Commenting on the collaboration, Aidan Larkin, CEO of Asset Reality, said
“When a user has funds stolen, often due to being scammed into handing over their passwords or Secret Recovery Phrase, they often have nowhere to turn to, in what is an incredibly difficult time for them emotionally and financially. We see losses across the entire crypto eco-system ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars in value. We’re proud to be partnering with ConsenSys and MetaMask to deliver this important service which will ultimately improve users’ experience in dealing with these situations.”
How to stay safe on Web3
MetaMask is aware of the proliferation of scamming activities and is actively working on improvements to help prevent them. However, in web3, the most important member of the security team is the user.
MetaMask is a non-custodial software that runs on users’ devices, similar to a web browser. Like a physical wallet in an individual’s back pocket, MetaMask doesn’t have any access to users’ funds. It is the responsibility of the wallet owner to never share their secret recovery phrase with anyone.
MetaMask published a post on how to avoid scammers and phishers and recommends keeping an eye on its Twitter Support account as they post about scamming activity.
MetaMask welcomes everyone to help chip in and make web3 tougher on scammers and bad actors. Web3 belongs to everyone and we should all try to keep each other safe