A watch-only wallet, as the name suggests it is just a Bitcoin wallet that is used for watching only. A watch only address doesn’t have private keys and you’ll not be able to spend any Bitcoins associated with that address. It is used only to view the balance and monitor the transaction activity of a particular wallet address.
That is called a ‘watch-only’ address in your wallet, meaning you can only watch it, but not spend the coins held by it. The Bitcoin blockchain is an open database, so anybody can watch any address they want to.
From this, it sounds like the scammer had access to your account in the past. If this is true, then your account is 100% compromised, there is no way to make it secure again. Make a new wallet, move all funds to it, and do no ever use that account again.
The reason you MUST abandon that wallet is that while logged in, the scammer likely copied down your wallet’s mnemonic seed phrase (a series of 12 or 24 words). With that seed phrase, they can recreate your wallet on a different device, or using different software.
The seed phrase is the current industry standard for making a wallet backup, it is used to derive your bitcoin private keys and addresses. The password/2FA are just used to unlock your ‘blockchain.info‘ account (which has used that seed phrase to create your wallet), so if you put the same seed phrase into a different device, it will recreate your wallet, without needing a password (since blockchain.info isn’t involved at all).
The only way, would be to find the person who does own that private key, and ask them for it (but they probably won’t give it to you). The scammer is likely trying to ‘sell you the private key’, or ‘unlock it’, or some other nonsense. That is the scam, so please beware and do not send any more BTC to them.
In the future, do NOT EVER give your wallet details, login, passphrase, seed phrase, 2FA, private keys, etc, to anyone that you do not trust 100%. If you ignore this warning, you are much more likely to have your bitcoins stolen.
Whichever wallet it is Paper wallet, core wallet or electrum wallet. Whenever you generate a new wallet address a private key is also generated along with it. If you find a watch only address in your wallet then you are the one who imported it. So you must first find out the private keys of that address. For electrum wallet read this guide and for core wallet read this to know how to export private keys. Once you have the private keys you can import them to your wallet and spend its funds.
This guide is not about watch only wallet but to show you the importance of your private keys. What you must remember is if you don’t own the private keys you don’t own the funds. So keep your keys safe and whenever you create a watch only wallet remember to back your original wallet because watch-only wallets don’t have access to private keys. One last thing: Do not provide your private keys to anyone and do not import them to any online service (Including blockchain.com). Once you expose the private keys your wallet security will get compromised.
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By: Armin Hamidian
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