Trust Wallet's watch-only wallet feature allows you to import the public key of a wallet address, enabling you to monitor its transactions and balances without controlling the assets. However, scammers may utilize this feature to deceive unsuspecting users into believing they need to "unlock" their wallets.
This article will provide an overview of the watch-only wallet feature, explain how it may be misused, and offer tips to prevent falling prey to such deceptive practices.
Understanding the watch-only wallet feature
A watch-only wallet is an address you can monitor without accessing the private key or seed phrase tied to it. This feature comes in handy when you want to track transactions and balances for specific addresses without risking your wallet's security. However, it also means you cannot perform transfers or other wallet operations without the associated private key or seed phrase.
How scammers deceive users with watch-only wallets
Fraudsters may trick you into importing a watch-only wallet into your Trust Wallet app, making it seem as though you have received funds. However, they deceive you by claiming that your wallet needs "unlocking" to access these funds. The scammers will often demand payment or ask for your private key or seed phrase to "unlock" the wallet, ultimately stealing your assets.
Tips to avoid watch-only wallet scams
- Never share your private key or seed phrase: Sharing your private key or seed phrase with anyone, including support agents, compromises your wallet security. Once someone has your private key or seed phrase, they have complete control over your wallet and assets.
- Verify transactions on a blockchain explorer: If you suspect a scammer has imported a watch-only wallet, use a reliable blockchain explorer to verify the transactions by entering the wallet address. If the transaction doesn't exist or appears invalid, you are likely being misled.
- Recognize that wallet unlocking doesn't exist: Trust Wallet does not require "unlocking" to access funds. Any request for payment or sharing of private information to unlock your wallet should be an immediate red flag.
While the watch-only wallet feature offers a great way to monitor transactions and balances, it’s vital to be aware of potential deceptive practices. Always stay vigilant, and never share your private key or seed phrase to ensure the security of your wallet and assets. If you encounter any suspicious behaviour or need assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to Trust Wallet's official support channels for help.