Pig Butchering Scam: Crypto Fraud
The Pig Butchering scam has emerged via text messages and consists of a combination between online dating and investment fraud. The expression “pig butchering” was chosen because it involves a time-tested, super-scripted, and contact-intensive complex to fatten the pig before slaughter. Does it make sense? But there is more.
What Is The Pig Butchering Scam Exactly
The pig butchering fraud originated in Southeast Asia and, unfortunately, is spreading globally. Did you ever receive a text message from an attractive person on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, or any other platform? This scam is perpetrated by a ring of cryptocurrency fraudsters who mine dating apps and social media websites in search of victims. And it’s super easy for them. It’s because people want attention, and a compliment goes a long way.
The pig butchering scam involves a criminal creating a fake profile on social media. He uses this to reach out to potential victims, very often through social media or various dating sites, and even text messages, masquerading as an incorrect number. The purpose is to initiate a cordial discussion with the future victim. These victims, in time, will become a “very good friend” or, most of the time, a “lover.”
Here are some screenshots of how scammers start luring in their prey:
The scammer creates reasons to continue a conversation. After getting trust, the relationship will lead to multiple calls. The purpose? They slowly build a relationship so they can be part of the victim’s daily life. As time goes by, the scammer introduces the idea of investment. As the crypto industry is still new and everyone has heard of the substantial money-money opportunity, yet very few know how it works, the trap is simple.
How It Works
The scammer recommends the victim to make a business investment using cryptocurrency. The crook uses powerful verbiage with tempting promises. He employs persuasion rather than asking for money right away for a simple reason: he knows that people are smarter these days (but not THAT smart) and are aware that being asked for money by a stranger is a red flag.
Step by step, the victim is gradually pulled into what seems to be benign talk about new cryptocurrency investments and earnings. However, they are just being manipulated to invest.
The Pig Butchering scammer convinces the target to invest in crypto platforms. When the victim is ready, the crook refers them to a scam site that looks authentic. Needless to say, it is owned by the scammer. Not only that, it gets more complex. The target is encouraged to invest small amounts in the beginning with the purpose that they win in the beginning.
That’s how it starts. The victims win a couple of tiny hands while the criminal ensures to provide some gain on the investment. That’s where the trust gets even stronger. The scammer may even allow the victim to withdraw money. Whether it’s one time or a couple of times, the act of winning convinces the target that the cryptocurrency investment is legitimate. And that’s where it happens.
Fattening The Pig
Having the experience of winning not just online but with the cash withdrawn too, the victim falls hard. It is persuaded by criminals to invest larger amounts in the fake crypto app. We received at Scam Detector emails from many victims who lost over $100,000.
As you can imagine, the fraudster “fattens the pig.” Once all the money is sent to the bogus platform, the scammer disappears, taking all the victim’s investment. Hence the term “Pig Butchering.”
While this scam typically uses a crooked romance as a tactic, criminals can also promote other types of personal or professional relationships. Remember that they are experts who manipulate their victims as they deal with several targets simultaneously.
7 Signs of a Pig Slaughtering Scam
- Strangers send you random text messages out of the blue.
- They avoid conversations with video.
- Scammers ask you to move the conversation from text to WhatsApp or Viber.
- Strangers start chit-chatting about their insider investments.
- When advanced in the process, the URL of the app they recommend differs from the official site of a trendy exchange, market, or cryptocurrency app they referenced. However, it may look very similar.
- The investment platform generates untrustworthy warnings when initially opened. Your computer’s antivirus software may also mark it as suspicious.
- As the adage says, “what seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
7 Tips To Stay Safe
- Never send money, trade, or invest after the advice you get from someone you have only met online.
- Never talk to strangers about your financial position or investments.
- Avoid sharing personal information, sensitive data, or your current financial status.
- Never provide your banking information, SSN (social security number), ID, or passport to anyone online.
- If a crypto or trading site guarantees high profits, stay away.
- Ignore individuals who urge you to act fast, claiming they have exclusive opportunities.
- Verify the crypto platform’s website on Scam Detector’sDetector’s website validator, using the tool below:
How To Report The Pig Butchering Text Scam
Warn your family and friends know about the Pig Butchering Text scam by sharing this article on social media today. You can also officially report scammers and any other suspicious activity to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) using the tool below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious crypto scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – no spam.
Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other crypto fraud-related articles right under this paragraph. Last but not least, use the comments section below to expose other crypto scammers.
Verify a website below
Are you just about to make a purchase online? See if the website is legit with our validator: