FBI’s Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit to Disrupt Crypto Schemes

By Evan Spicer

Director of Cryptocurrency Investigations

People who want to give cryptocurrency a try but are worried about the high incidence of crypto crime may decide it is time to give bitcoin a chance with the announcement of the FBI’s Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, which is expected to revolutionize crypto investigation. 

The Department of Justice unveiled the new unit, which evolved out of the establishment of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team in 2021. The aim of the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, according to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, is to stop cryptocurrency fraud before it starts with a proactive approach that is reminiscent of counter-terrorism initiatives. 

The unit will use crypto trace solutions, blockchain analysis and the authority to seize suspected anonymous bitcoin wallets to disrupt major criminal networks, identify the culprits and bring them to justice. This is welcome news for consumers who have been the victims of crypto schemes but lost hope in identifying those who were behind the frauds or locating their funds hiding in anonymous bitcoin wallets.

Combating the Rising Tide of Crypto Schemes

The unveiling of this new unit does not come a moment too soon as illegal cyber crime connected with cryptocurrency has skyrocketed to record levels. According to Chainanalysis data, $11 billion of the cryptocurrency supply is used for illicit activities. Hacking bitcoin wallets, using cryptocurrency for extortion and creating false crypto trading deals is a big business for today’s cyber criminals. The Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit can put a halt to the stratagems of crypto culprits. 

Even though the new unit was started in the United States, it is committing to working with European law enforcement and similar organizations internationally to crack down on crypto schemes. This is essential for combating the problem, because the blockchain is not confined within borders, and often bitcoin transactions and crypto investigations involve people in several countries. 

It has been a long road from the assumption that bitcoin transactions could not be traced to recent successes in FBI crypto investigations. The FBI managed to prevent $3.6 billion in bitcoin from being laundered on the blockchain. The Colonial Pipeline incident could have ended in disaster had the FBI had not tracked down the $4 million paid in extortion after a ransomware attack. 

Lisa Monaco said of the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, “If you report to us, we can follow the money, and not only help you but hopefully prevent the next victim,” according to The Wall Street Journal

A New Phase in Crypto Investigation

The FBI and Department of Justice are letting the public know that they are taking crypto cyber crime seriously and are creating new strategies and solutions to tackle the problem. This development will benefit consumers, businesses, law enforcement, crypto exchanges, and crypto investigation services that rely on solid backing for government agencies and authorities to crack down on suspected and proven cyber criminals.

For instance, MyChargeBack uses advanced crypto trace software and bitcoin forensics in its crypto investigation cases, and with the backing of the authorities and law enforcement, can help its clients achieve successful outcomes for their claims. 

Clients who have lost funds on the blockchain through hacking or a fake crypto trading scheme consult with MyChargeBack experts and give a detailed account of the incident. They provide documentation and a timeline of events that serve as a launching pad for a crypto investigation. 

MyChargeBack uses client information to dig deeper and discover specific bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. With the help of cointracking software, bitcoin forensics methods, specialized databases, and crypto analytics, we can discover patterns of transactions on the blockchain and uncover the identities behind anonymous bitcoin wallets. 

If you have lost money to a crypto or forex scheme, seek assistance from  MyChargeBack experts and get started with your fund recovery claim. We have extensive knowledge and working relationships with regulators and more than 450 law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as the solutions that can improve your prospects of getting your cryptocurrency back.