Scams, Ponzi schemes, and exits are a persistent crypto problem that often leaves victims angry but without recourse. Occasionally, a group effort on the part of the cooperating parties will strike back at the scammer and get back what was lost.
The origin of the scam
Telegram is a haven of activity for tokens on the TRON network and deals are often made between trusted parties. While tools have been built to conduct trustless trades, some still prefer to simply send and receive their own wallets. Unfortunately, this may result in scammers assuming usernames that resemble trusted users. One such incident occurred a few weeks back when a scammer impersonated a CityUptake official and had almost 40,000 CITY Alphatokens (~$1,100 USD). Subsequently, the assets were later recovered through a well laid-out plan by company officials and cooperation from a valuable community.
According to CityUptake, it took more than 24 hours and the efforts of four separate people to recover the stolen funds. The issue began when Michael, the CityUptake user, was approached by a scammer who impersonated Rob’s name, an actual CityUptake agent. Michael, being unaware of the deception and the change in the username, forwarded his requirements to the ‘agent.’ Michael was actually wanting to sell some of his CITY Alpha tokens in return for the corresponding amount of TRX tokens.
Retrieving the Funds
The CityUptake Alpha tokens are valuable in the CU community because of its relevance to the changing price climate. The Alpha tokens allow the holder to receive passive gains from a USD-based trade desk which provides a stable platform for dealing with crypto assets. It was only after the transfer that Michael realized that he was taken for a ride by the scammer.
Once Michael reported the scam to the CityUptake fold, the company jumped right on board to help recover the funds. Since the scammer’s wallet address was known, it was only logical to track it for any suspicious transfers pertaining to the stolen amount. The wallet was doubly verified when the wallet holder posted a sell order for 40,000 CITY Alpha(the exact amount that was stolen). Following this, the team proceeded with executing a plan to recover the funds.
The first step was to contact IAmGroot, the administrator for the TRON Collectors trade channel. Once he was filled in with what had occurred, IAmGroot and Micaletol worked together to set up a simulated trade to reel in the scammer. During the trade it was spotted that the scammer’s wallet had moved 10,000 CITY Alpha tokens plus an additional 30,000 CITY Alpha tokens to the address TDQTg5Qx37djroUTBN1reZ5b2vF4Ywe7ae. IAmGroot and Michael scoured through the blockchain to find more pseudonyms used by the scammer and discovered that the wallet in question had conducted similar transactions earlier.
Once the trade simulation was completed, IAmGroot and Micaleto were successfully able to retrieve the funds and call the scammer out on a public forum. Michael even stated:
“Today is a great day and also a big surprise !!! Last week I was scammed over 40k city and today MicaLETO, Groot4Rocket hangel72 and rudytwo bring it back in a fantastic cooperation and unbelievable collaboration. Big THANKS to this honorable and honest guys, who make that success against scam possible!!!!I’m proud and happy to be a member of CityUptake and TRONCollector under such super together working people!! who fight against this fki.. scammers with great success.”
Such a collective effort is something that sets the CityUptake community apart from the rest of its compatriots. This cohesion and spirit of working together are just one of several factors that make CityUptake and its ecosystem a tight–knit community.