The Pig Butchering scam relies on a fraudster gaining confidence with their victim sometimes over a long time span of weeks or months.”
According to recent media reports, U.S. officials have issued warnings about the pig butchering scam’s expanding notoriety, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Lakewood Police, where incidents have been reported.
The term “Sha Zhu Pan” in Chinese is where the hoax got its name. The FBI states that the scam’s name comes from the way con artists entice victims with promises of romance and wealth before cutting them off and stealing all of their money.
“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,” the FBI said.
Scams frequently begin on dating or social media platforms like Linkedin and Tinder.
The pig butchering scam, according to a Lakewood police officer, “often starts on social media or dating apps like Linkedin and Tinder, where the con artist finds and persuades the victim to pay over some money.”
“The scammer then puts the money into a crypto account which appears to grow in value, making the victim want to add more funds to the account,” he added. “The scammer then disappears with a large amount of the victim’s cryptocurrency.” According to Forbes, romance scams have skyrocketed to $547m a year.
Erin West, a seasoned prosecutor with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, commented on the increase in accusations of fraud when asked about it: “Over the past month, we have gotten overrun with pig butchering cases. Not just Santa Clara County residents, but people all around the country and even the world.”
On the other hand
Last month, Binance recovered $243,000 from a fraud victim who had met “an unknown suspect” on a dating website and had been duped into putting over $243,000 in a phony cryptocurrency exchange.
Some victims even receive a meager sum of money that is represented as a “return” on their investment in an effort to persuade them to commit even more money.
In an effort to further extort money from a victim of a scam, they are then informed that they must pay a tax or service fee before their cash will be released when they attempt to withdraw money from the website, according to Coinbase.