MetaMask partners with Asset Reality to help victims of scams in their efforts to recover stolen digital assets

Metamask, ConsenSys‘self-service wallet leader, is delighted to announce today a new strategic partnership with Active Reality, an end-to-end solution to recover, manage and access seized crypto and complex assets. In recent years, economic activity on the web3 has grown exponentially. While this growth has attracted a number of highly innovative apps 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 help victims of scams recover their digital assets whenever possible. This support will be available to all MetaMask users worldwide who have fallen victim to scams, including MetaMask’s most active markets in the US, UK, Philippines, India, Vietnam, in Brazil, France, Germany or Nigeria.

How Asset Reality will help recover funds

According to Action Fraud, victims lose an average of US$25,000. Losses can be as low as $50 and sometimes exceed $1.0 million. Traditional recovery uses civil litigation and usually involves instructing a lawyer, serving exchange information notices to try to identify scammers or the wallets they own when seeking funds, or freezing those accounts. Unfortunately, this process takes a long time, especially since there is no special encryption process and costs can exceed $75,000.

Victims of scams often struggle to get enough resources and attention from law enforcement. Asset Reality’s offering allows multiple victims of a fraudulent transaction to join forces and conduct a broader forensic investigation against a fraudulent transaction.

Asset Reality will be the case manager for affected MetaMask users. They will relieve users to investigate every scam operation, greatly increasing the likelihood of recovering funds and bringing scammers to justice.

Asset Reality services will be free for MetaMask users. However, users may need to cover legal costs if they decide the recovery route 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 could indeed be hundreds of victims of the biggest scam operations. By providing identifiable information, a person who has been victimized for a lower amount has the opportunity to recover their funds if the victims are larger, and ConsenSys pursues these scam operations on a larger scale.

“Helping users investigate and recover lost funds is a strategic tool in a multi-faceted strategy we continuously execute, which includes improving security, training users, and new ways to safeguard assets. Through this cutting-edge partnership with Asset Reality, ConsenSys and MetaMask want to empower victims to unite, build cases against these fraudulent operations, and bring them to justice. It’s really important that hacking victims come forward, no matter how small. They could reveal or be the starting point for a larger investigation and create the possibility of aggregating claims for potential legal action,” said Dan Finlay, co-founder of MetaMask.

How can users benefit from this service

Victims of scams can benefit from the following 5 simple steps:

  1. A user experiences account compromise and/or loss of funds usually through a phishing scam
  2. MetaMask Support will greet users and verify how they were compromised, if possible, and request any relevant information regarding phishing websites, vectors, and lost funds.
  3. MetaMask Support will provide security guidance on next steps for users and forward to Asset Reality
  4. The MetaMask agent will ask the user to open a case with Asset Reality via a page on metamask.io.
  5. Asset Reality will support communication with users and proactively keep users informed of the status of their cases

Commenting on the collaboration, Aidan Larkin, CEO of Asset Reality, said: “When a user has their funds stolen, often because they have been scammed into handing over their passwords or passphrase secret recovery, he often has nowhere to turn, in what is an incredibly difficult time for them emotionally and financially. We are seeing losses across the crypto ecosystem ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars in value. We are proud to partner with ConsenSys and MetaMask to provide this important service that will ultimately improve the user experience in these situations.

How to Stay Safe on Web3

MetaMask is aware of the proliferation of fraudulent activity and is actively working on improvements to help prevent it. However, in Web3, the most important member of the security team is the user.

MetaMask is non-custodial software that runs on user devices, similar to a web browser. Like a physical wallet in an individual’s back pocket, MetaMask has no access to user funds. It is the responsibility of the wallet owner never to share their secret recovery phrase with anyone.

MetaMask published an article on how to avoid scammers and phishers and recommends monitoring Twitter support account as they post information about scam activities.

MetaMask invites everyone to participate and make Web3 harder for scammers and bad actors. Web3 belongs to everyone and we should all try to protect each other.

ABOUT CONSENSYS
ConsenSys is a leading developer of Ethereum software and decentralized protocols. We enable developers, businesses, and individuals around the world to build next-generation applications, launch modern financial infrastructure, and access the decentralized web. Our product suite, consisting of inflate, Quorum, Codefi, Metamask, Truffle, Diligence and our NFT Platform, serves millions of users, supports billions of blockchain-based queries for our clients, and has managed billions of dollars in digital assets. Ethereum is the world’s largest programmable blockchain, a leader in enterprise adoption, developer community, and DeFi activity. On this trusted open source foundation, we are building the digital economy of tomorrow.

ABOUT THE REALITY OF ASSETS
Active Reality is the world’s first end-to-end solution for complex assets. Its platform provides services and tools to public and private sector companies that investigate, manage and recover assets. From helping crypto businesses support victims of fraud to enabling governments to manage and realize portfolios of seized assets, its mission is to improve asset recovery for victims and the society. Launched through the Techstars accelerator program, Asset Reality partners with leading digital custodians, blockchain analytics firms and asset recovery practitioners to give users access to services they need in an easy-to-use platform.

Michael J. Birnbaum