Digital Assets: This Dangerous New Crypto Scam Is Called “Pig Butchering”
“Pig butchering” refers to how a scam victim is first fattened up and then slaughtered.
A new scam is making the rounds, and the criminals typically locate and home in on their victims using social media or dating portals such as Tinder and LinkedIn. After establishing contact, they develop an ongoing relationship with the victim, gradually leading to trust. This could easily be a romance-cum-investment scam unfurling over weeks, even months, a period that could be described as a grooming period. (Bitcoinist)
After a while the talk unobtrusively drifts from romance and sweet nothings to investing in general, and thereafter to crypto such as bitcoin in particular.
The scamster, now accepted as a “lover,” then convinces the target to make an initial crypto investment via a portal or app that is usually fraudulent and managed by the con artist, or their cronies.
Thereafter, to establish an aura of complete authenticity, the victim may also be paid token amounts as returns on the initial investment.
This encourages the target to add larger amounts to the investment. Once the amount invested is lucrative enough, the lover vanishes with the money and the site becomes inaccessible.
Last week, Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) warned about the increasing prevalence of such scams.
“While investment scams and romance scams are not unique to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the irreversible nature of cryptocurrency transactions can make these scams devastating,” Coinbase said. “This scheme is particularly effective because it relies on a scammer building trust with their victim sometimes over a long time period of weeks or months.”
The FBI also has weighed in on “pig butchering” scams:
“The fraud is named for the way scammers feed their victims with promises of romance and riches before cutting them off and taking all their money.”
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