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Pig Butchering Scam; What is it and How to Avoid it?

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November 26, 2022

Cybercriminals have no limitations, and this even includes stealing your cryptocurrency. The hackers use a variety of tactics to trick people into making fake cryptocurrency investments. The “pig butchering scam” is one such wide-spreading cryptocurrency scam.

Stories such as “A fake scammer lover took their entire savings in crypto” are increasingly popular, and you will find many such stories on Reddit and other platforms. This fraud, like overfeeding a pig before butchering, attempts to get as much money from its victim as possible. 

Pig Butchering Scam

Messaging fraud started in China is now widely spread in the U.s. It is more complex than previous frauds and has already robbed more than a hundred million dollars of Americans. In the pig butchering scam, scammers trick people into building online relationships to gain their confidence before persuading them to spend in bitcoin exchanges. 

The scammers do so through various matchmaking dating apps and control such sites, who, in the end, will take all the money and disappear without informing the target.

Check Out: What is the Best Countermeasure Against Social Engineering?

How does it Work?

Social media, chat applications, and dating websites are used to first get in touch with scam victims. A scammer always tends to be a friendly person of the opposite sex. They built a strong profile using fake images and data.

It could start with a stranger having a charming profile picture and sending you a message. A simple “Hello” or what appears to be mild curiosity as to how your contact number seems to be in their contact list might be the opening line. But these signals are frequently not just coincidences.

Initially, it involves casual talks with no discussion of an investment scheme. 

The offender is working on gaining your trust at this point. The topic of investing in cryptocurrencies comes up later. The scammer will make a successful trading claim and discuss recent earnings. They’ll probably exchange screenshots and will casually suggest the target follow the same method of earning money.

The victims are tricked into making little initial investments, and the con artist will ensure to verify a minor return on that money. To persuade the victim that the procedure is legal, they may even permit them to transfer cash a single or several times.

The victim is now convinced to make a more significant investment. Because of the emotional relationship and proof of prior earnings, the victim is usually persuaded to invest progressively vast amounts of money.

The people are unaware of the fraud until they try to withdraw a large amount. They are informed that they must first pay taxes to withdraw this huge money. The only way to do this is to add a new deposit. Regardless of their tax payment, there are no profits and no way to get their money back.

Even though the technique has just recently come to British countries, according to Forbes, it still has taken billions of US dollars worldwide. 

How to Avoid it?

Pig Butchering Scam

Sadly, “pig butchering” is growing in popularity. According to the FBI, these frauds cost 429 million US dollars in 2021. However, there are ways to avoid such scams.

  • Refrain from taking investing advice from individuals you meet on online Apps, especially matchmaking Apps. 
  • Do not share your account or financial information with someone you just met online.
  • Be extremely cautious if the investment, coin, etc., arrived at you through any social network or unwanted messaging.
  • Research the cryptocurrency name they ask you to invest in. 
  • Sift through the site as it may seem professional, but it won’t be too old and won’t have many reviews. 
  • Do not make such an investment that shows a relatively larger payback. Especially if they offer quick returns and you feel like investing more and more.
  • Remember that in cryptocurrency, high profits always come with equal risks, especially for newbies. So, if there is any risk-free profit, it’s a scam.

Look for Warning Signs

  • Random communications addressed to “someone else” pop up unexpectedly in your inbox on any platform.
  • The individual you’re speaking to appears to be a model in their profile picture.
  • Sports, golfing, travelling, and fitness is common scam beginning lines.
  • They may pretend to be extra sweet, friendly and loyal to you. 
  • They will avoid video calling and making various excuses.
  • They may inquire about investing or cryptocurrencies at some time.
  • They’ll ask you to invest or take part of their earnings and spend it elsewhere.

Conclusion

Anyone might be at risk from pig butchering frauds. The scam takes advantage of clever social engineering methods to rob victims of significant sums of money. Many intelligent, digital experts fall victim to this cunning plan, so targets aren’t only weak or elderly. 

It’s also incredibly challenging to stop the fraud because the criminals are unknown, and the fees are paid in anonymous cryptocurrencies. Govt of different areas is making efforts for public awareness. Being aware that it occurs is the main defence against it, like many internet frauds.

author bio

Author bio

Hi there, my name is Aydan, and I share exciting information about cyber security and ethical hacking, a.k.a pen-testing.

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