This article was produced in collaboration with Court Watch, an independent outlet that unearths overlooked court records.
When Ricardo saw the message that his Coinbase account had been hacked in 2021, he panicked. He had gone to log into Coinbase Pro, the company’s trader-focused service, and received the ominous message: your account is compromised, please call this 1-800 number as soon as possible.
Ricardo thought the worst. His cryptocurrency investments, which weren’t massive but still represented hard earned money, were gone, he assumed. Ricardo called the number and a man on the other end instructed him to open the chat in the lower right-hand corner of the website. You’ll get help, the man said. But Ricardo had to move quickly; the man said someone was logged into Ricardo’s account at right that moment from Ohio. That “took the panic up a notch,” Ricardo told 404 Media.