After having a meeting with con artists who pretended to be investors in a hotel lobby in Rome, the co-founder of the Web3 metaverse gaming engine known as "Webaverse" has stated that the company was the victim of a $4 million crypto heist.
According to the co-founder Ahad Shams, the most peculiar feature of the incident is the fact that the cryptocurrency was taken from a Trust Wallet that had just been set up and that the hack took place at some time during the meeting.
He asserts that the burglars had no way of knowing the private key since he was not linked to a public WiFi network at the time and they would not have had access to it.
Shams thinks that the burglars were able to access the wallet while she was photographing the contents of the wallet to record the amount.
The letter, which was published on Twitter on February 7 and comprises testimonies from Webaverse and Shams, explains that they met with a guy called "Mr. Safra" on November 26 after many weeks of negotiations regarding the possibility of receiving funds.
Shams provided the following explanation: "We communicated with 'Mr. Safra' by email and video chats, and he stated that he wanted to invest in interesting Web3 startups."
"He explained that he had been scammed by people in crypto before, and so he collected our IDs for KYC, and stipulated as a requirement that we fly into Rome to meet him because it was important to meet IRL to 'get comfortable' with who we were each doing business with," he added. "He explained that he had been scammed by people in crypto before."
Even though Shams was initially skeptical, he agreed to meet "Mr. Safra" and his "banker" in person in the lobby of a hotel in Rome. During this meeting, Shams was supposed to show "Mr. Safra" the "proof of funds" for the project, which "Mr. Safra" claimed he needed in order to begin the "paperwork.""
"Despite the fact that we reluctantly agreed to the Trust Wallet 'evidence,' we went ahead and set up a brand new account for Trust Wallet at home on a device that we don't often use when interacting with them. Our logic led us to believe that even if we lost our private keys or seed phrases, the monies would still be secure "explained Shams.
When we first got together, the three of us sat across from each other and put four million USDC into the Trust Wallet. "Mr. Safra" requested to see the current balances on the Trust Wallet app, at which point he pulled out his phone and pretended to "shoot some photographs."
Shams clarified that he was of the opinion that everything was above board since "Mr. Safra" did not have access to any private keys or seed phrases.
But as "Mr. Safra" left the conference room, ostensibly to confer with his other banking colleagues, he vanished without a trace and was never seen again. Then Shams saw the disappearance of the cash.
"We were never able to locate him again. After a few minutes, the money was gone from the wallet.
Shams reported the theft to a local police station in Rome almost soon after it occurred, and a few days later she sent an Internet Crime Complaint (IC3) form to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.