A recent report by The Guardian claims that crypto muggings are on the rise in London, as thieves target phones in order to gain access to digital assets. 

According to the report, police have warned that thieves are targeting digital currency investors in a wave of “crypto muggings.” Victims are reporting that thousands of pounds in digital assets have been stolen from them after having their phones taken.

The Guardian has reviewed a number of anonymized crime reports provided by City of London police, revealing that criminals are targeting phones in order to get to digital assets. 

One victim reported that they were attempting to hail an Uber near London’s Liverpool Street station when muggers forced them to give up their phone. The muggers eventually returned the phone, but only after stealing more than £5,000 in Ethereum from the victim’s Coinbase account. 

Another case involves a victim being held against a wall by attackers and forced to unlock a smartphone app with facial verification. The muggers then transferred £6,000 in XRP from the victim’s account. 

David Gerard, author of Attack on the 50 Foot Blockchain, told The Guardian that crypto muggings were more troublesome than bank transfers due to their permanence.

He told The Guardian, 

If I get robbed and they force me to make a bank transfer, the bank can trace where the money has gone and there are all sorts of comebacks. You can reverse the transaction. With crypto, if I transfer it to my crypto wallet I’ve got your coins and you can’t get them back.

Gerard warned that crypto users should consider their digital assets the same as carrying around cash, and avoid keeping “stupid amounts of money” in their crypto accounts. 

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The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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