The threat posed by online scams has grown tremendously in recent years. There are now more ways than ever to become a victim of online fraud. One of the more sophisticated examples is known as the pig butchery.
Slaying the Pigs is part romance scam and part investment scam. It links the false relationship of the former with the false promises of wealth associated with the latter. For many sufferers, this is an expensive and painful process.
So what exactly is pig slaughtering, and how can you avoid falling victim to it?
What is pig butcher?
Pig Butcher is a sophisticated online scam that relies on social engineering and fake cryptocurrency exchanges. It gets its name from the fact that the victim is first lured into a fake romantic relationship before being killed using fraudulent investment advice.
Criminals are known to be very patient, slowly building trust and then encouraging the victim to invest large amounts. The victim is made to believe that they are making money, when in reality, whatever they have deposited is non-traceable.
How does the pig butcher work?
Slaughtering pigs is an elaborate scam with many variations. The exact steps vary but it is usually as follows:
Victims of scams are initially contacted through social media, chat apps and dating websites. The perpetrator is invariably an attractive person of the opposite sex. The pictures and information used are completely fake.
The initial conversation usually consists of simple conversation without mentioning the investment opportunity. During this time, the perpetrator is attempting to build trust and/or attraction. The success of scams is largely based on the criminal’s ability to achieve these goals.
At some point, the conversation turns to cryptocurrency investments. The criminal would claim to be a successful trader and talk about his recent profits. There is a possibility of sharing their screenshots. They will then casually offer to teach the victim how to earn money in the same way.
If the victim decides to invest, they will be asked to create an account on a particular cryptocurrency exchange and deposit a small amount. The victim will then be able to watch as their initial investment increases in value.
This is easy for a criminal to achieve because the exchange being used is fake. Fake exchanges are designed to be highly realistic, but the profits generated are nonexistent.
At this point, the victim is encouraged to invest a large sum of money. Because of the romantic relationship and evidence of past profits, the victim is often persuaded to invest large amounts.
During the scam, the victim is usually allowed to withdraw a small amount. This is to demonstrate that the exchange and trade are legitimate. The victim usually only learns about the theft when they attempt to make a large sum of money.
When the victim attempts to do so, they will be told that they must first pay taxes on their profits. This can be obtained only by making an additional deposit. Whether the victim pays this fee or not, the profits are negligible and anything invested can never be withdrawn.
Why is the slaughter of pigs effective?
Killing the Pigs is effective because it combines two scams that are effective by themselves. Romance scams usually involve developing a great deal of trust. This trust is then the ideal tool to dispel the doubts that are often associated with investment scams.
Fake exchanges also contribute to making victims believe what they are being told. Aside from the URL, they appear identical to legitimate exchanges. The victim is then basing their decision on a person they trust and a website that appears to corroborate that person’s story.
Who is the target of pig butcher scams?
Pig butcher scams can target anyone. Scammers are generally speaking to large amounts of people at once and making little effort to specifically target the wealthy or vulnerable.
The scam also occurs on a wide range of different websites. While dating websites are obviously ideal for this type of activity, many victims meet the perpetrator on social media and chat apps.
Men are targeted more often than women, but many women are also victims.