By Evan Spicer
Director of Cryptocurrency Investigations
A couple that saw themselves as major social media influencers, self-made celebrities and Wall Street stars have been charged with fraud and attempted, money laundering on the blockchain. The couple got caught trying to launder $3.6 billion of $4.5 billion money stolen from hacked bitcoin wallets and may serve up to 25 years if found guilty.
Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan, 31, worked with hackers who managed to steal 1,000 bitcoin from the BitFinex platform. They then attempted to launder the money through purchasing one-time Visa and MasterCard cards for $500 each and also used the money to purchase luxury items, NFTs or non-fungible tokens and Uber rides.
Heather Morgan was not concerned with keeping a low profile while she was involved in these activities. She marketed herself online as a hip-hop artist and with the moniker RazzleKhan and said she was, like Ghenghis Kahn “but with more pizzazz.”
This story isn’t like trading schemes which deceive people and persuade them to trade cryptocurrency, but instead, used money that was taken from users of the BitFinex bitcoin wallets without their knowledge. So can crypto users do anyting to prevent this kind of hacking?
In a word, yes. The following are some takwaways that can keep your funds safe on the blockchain.
Work Only with a Regulated Crypto Platform
Even though hacking happens even on the best platforms, including those that have licenses, your chances of losing your funds to an anonymous bitcoin wallet held by hackers is much less likely if you work with a regulated crypto exchange. Having oversight is a definite advantage and if you lose your funds, you are likely to have the regulated crypto exchange on your side.
Use a Hardware Bitcoin Wallet
Even if you are working with a licensed crypto exchange, do not assume that your funds are safe from hackers, but purchase a reliable hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency. Don’t cut corners when purchasing a hardware bitcoin wallet, but order it directly from the manufacturer rather than a third-party seller.
Do Not Leave Your Funds on the Platform for Too Long
Once you have a hardware bitcoin wallet, use it. Do not leave your cryptocurrency on the platform, but deposit it into the wallet right away. The longer you leave your funds on the cryptocurrency exchange, the more likely it will be the target of hackers.
Do Not Give Away Your Codes and Keys
Guard your code and keys and do not give this information away to anyone. Also, be careful about how you store this information, so it will not be hacked. Once someone has codes and keys, they can gain access to cryptocurrency easily.
Protect Your Devices
Make sure your devices are protected with anti-virus software and use a VPN to shield your online activity. Do not enter any sensitive data on any platform that is not protected by encryption and makes passwords and codes undetectable.
If You Have Lost Your Bitcoin, Contact Professionals
If your cryptocurrency ends up in an unauthorized anonymous bitcoin wallet, seek crypto trace services to locate your funds on the blockchain. Consult with MyChargeBack and give us the details of your claim.
MyChargeBack Will Help You Find Your Funds on the Blockchain
If you have lost money to a cryptocurrency scheme, seek fund recovery assistance immediately. Consult with MyChargeBack experts to get started. 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.