There has been a spate of “crypto muggings” in London recently, with thieves threatening crypto holders with violence unless they transfer over their digital currencies held in mobile phone wallets or on crypto exchanges.

As detailed by The Guardian UK, crime reports from the City of London police detail how thousands of dollars worth of crypto has been stolen by thugs in person. One victim said their phone had been pick-pocketed while out drinking and they later realized over $12,000 worth of Ethereum (ETH) had been siphoned from their account. The victims believes the thieves witnessed them type in their account pin.

Another victim was approached by a group offering to sell him cocaine and after moving to another location to buy the drugs, the person was held against a wall whilst the gang accessed his phone and crypto account using facial verification, transferring over $7,000 worth of Ripple (XRP) to their own wallets.

This is an increasingly common variation on what is termed a “$5 wrench attack”.

As blockchain transactions are irreversible and most methods of cryptocurrency storage place responsibility for security of the assets with the individual who owns them, Cointelegraph spoke with blockchain security firm BlockSec who shared the following tips on how to protect crypto from a mugging:

“Do not deposit a large amount of crypto in a wallet or exchange app. Only leave a small portion in there. You can have a multi-sig wallet and with a policy saying only two signers can move the money in the wallet. By doing so, only a small amount of crypto will…

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