I WAS SCAMMED AND LOST MY EOS . HOW I RECOVERED THEM!
Before sharing my journey on how I recovered my stolen EOS, I want to acknowledge and thank EOS911 (Liam and David) and Anyx from Team Greymass for their support and guidance. Most importantly, my sincere gratitude to the exchange where I purchased my coins (I can not disclose the name as part of a confidentiality agreement I was required to sign). Without the exchange’s assistance, I could never have recovered my EOS.
CHRONICLE OF EVENTS:
July 5th: just purchased some EOS and wanted to transfer it into my EOS account. After trying repeatedly for some time I kept getting a glitch that did not allow the transfer of my coins. I realized then I needed to contact my exchange in their Telegram account. This would be the 1st to do so since I never encountered this problem before plus I suspected it may have something to do with the launch of the new EOS main net. I found the Customer Support chat for my exchange and was impressed by the number of people needing help. After requesting help and waiting for a response I thought I should try another time. After leaving the Telegram chat however I was contacted a few minutes later by someone from the exchange Customer Support team (so I thought) and was glad to have someone to help me.
I was waiting for the Customer support rep to fix the exchange's internal issue to finally transfer my EOS into my personal account. I never suspected however that I was dealing with someone impersonating the Customer Support team. The way he communicated showed his knowledge of the exchange’s portal and procedures. I followed his instructions after he explained that it was necessary to transfer my coins into the exchange’s escrow wallet as a result of the EOS main net being unstable. It made sense to me and after making the transfer he confirmed that it had gone through (I checked and indeed it did) and stated that within 30 minutes I will receive an email confirmation from the exchange and shortly thereafter the coins will appear in my account. Suffice it to say that the email never came and the coins didn't arrive in my account. At this point I realized I had been scammed my coins were gone! I panicked realizing that I will never recover my coins and felt helpless knowing that there was nothing I could do. At this time, I didn't have any idea who to contact or where to go for help.
I was also ashamed to tell anybody because I feared being humiliated. I then remember Anyx from Team Greymass who helped me in the past with their wallet and after explaining the situation she referred me to EOS911. I immediately reached out to them in their Telegram group and David and Liam confirmed that my case qualified for submission to ECAF advising me to file a complaint. I was hopeful and upbeat and filed a complaint with ECAF right away receiving a confirmation email saying that they will have someone contact me in 72 hours. I thought that the scammer’s account will be frozen by the BP’s and my coins returned perhaps in a week or so. After passing the 72 hours I began to wonder what was going on and decided to email ECAF several times never receiving a response. I went into the EOS911 Telegram chat and saw a comment from someone saying that after 1 week ECAF had finally gotten in contact with him. I decided to wait 1 week but no response. That is when I came accross a Tweet saying that everyone working in ECAF is a volunteer helping with an increasing number of cases that come every day. They lack the resources to do the job they've been entrusted nonetheless try their best to help out everyone.
I came to the conclusion that ECAF was no longer an option for me deciding that the only party left to reach out was my exchange. This time however I will contact them by email. After emailing them I received a reply the next day where I was asked to explain what happened - which I did.
Below, are the steps I followed and documentation provided to facilitate the recovery process. The key here is to provide information (in a way that makes it easy for the exchange to follow the course of events whereby the scammer stole my coins) and supporting documentation to make the case strong and compelling eliminating any doubts that the scammer obtained my coins illicitly . These are the 7 steps I took:
I provided screen shots of the chat I had with the scammer. Each screen shot I numbered and labeled it so that the exchange could easily follow the events from beginning to end.
I provided screen shots of the EOS blockchain (thanks to EOSflare.io) showing the transaction and transfer from my account into the scammer’s account. This was very useful since it shows the date and all the pertinent information which is irrefutable.
I filed a Police Report with my local police department and sent it to my exchange. This gives a higher level of assurance to the exchange (which they can verify) thus removing any doubts of the validity of the claim I filed.
I answered all the question the exchange asked me and was diligent when responding. (You need to be always cooperative with them – try to be organized and logical when providing information).
Don’t email them if you don’t hear anything. Give them time to work on your case. The only time you should email them is when you find additional corroborating information that helps the case.
Wait and be patient. After 3 weeks, I was told by the exchange they had flagged the scammer’s account which is a good sign that things look favorable and a positive outcome is likely.
After almost 1 month I received the great news that the exchange will return the stolen coins to my account. (Expect to sign a confidentiality agreement and abide by the terms in it).
As you can see, not only did the exchange show concern and diligence but also worked hard to help me. It was great to know that finally my coins were recovered and transferred to my account. Again, I want to thank everyone at the exchange that made this possible.
CONCLUSION: I hope that this article helps everyone in the EOS community going through a similar situation. Not only is it intended to help the EOS community (vhich in my opinion is the best in the space) but also the rest of the crypto community in general. The steps above can apply to any coin and if you execute them well the chances of recovering your coins will be high. My advice is not to give up if you have been scammed and do not think that your coins are gone forever. By organizing yourself, preparing the supporting documentation and providing corroborating evidence you will make it easier for the exchange to return the coins to you.
Expect this process to take at least 3 to 4 weeks. It will not be so difficult and with diligence and patience you shall see the results you are hoping for. Be very careful with scammers, they make themselves look legit by using the exchanges’s logo n their Telegram accounts, use the names and titles you expect from the exchange, communicate like someone from the exchange and know the way the exchanges work to make you feel like you are dealing with the exchange. Always check the email address the scammer will use when contacting you. It will say the name of the exchange but when looking at it closely you will find that is probably a Gmail or some other account (I received an email from the scammer asking me to provide a photo of my driver’s license which came from a Gmail account and I forwarded it to the exchange for them to see what he was trying to do thus making it more compelling for the exchange to return my coins). I hope this article benefits everyone. Feel free to share it. If you have any questions or comments please post it below.
P.S: Part 2 of this article with the details of how the Scammer tricked me will be published soon. Here you will know how he preys his victims plus more.