Tuesday, February 06, 2024
Web Desk

FBI issues warning againt 'pig butchering' — but what is it?

"Pig butchering" scammers ask for further payments, taxes, fees to get money from victims

Web Desk
A representational image of pig butchering. — Daily Coin/File
A representational image of "pig butchering". — Daily Coin/File

The fraud, which goes by the name "Sha Zhu Pan" in Chinese and roughly translates to "pig butchering," includes cryptocurrency, or digital currency that is exchanged over the internet rather than through a bank or other financial institution. 

The victim of the frauds is the "pig" in this instance since they are being set up for "butchering," or being bled dry of their money, according to Al.

“The victims in Pig Butchering schemes are referred to as ‘pigs’ by the scammers because the scammers will use elaborate storylines to ‘fatten up’ victims into believing they are in a romantic or otherwise close personal relationship,” according to an affidavit from a 2023 pig butchering arrest. “Once the victim places enough trust in the scammer, the scammer brings the victim into a cryptocurrency investment scheme.”

The scammer uses a script to make contact with the victim, usually via social media or dating apps, or by making phone calls and sending texts that are intended to look like they were misdialed. 

The con artist persuades the victim to invest in cryptocurrency with the promise of huge profits after some time is spent developing rapport and trust—sometimes even through the exchange of explicit photos.

Some con artists even direct their victims to websites that look real but are really under their control.

The victim learns that their attempts to cash out or make withdrawals from the fake websites are rejected after they have invested in cryptocurrencies multiple times. 

Scammers may ask for further payments, taxes, or fees in order to get the money. The con artist then disappears, shutting off communication with the victim and taking the money with them, after the victim's funds have been depleted.

The FBI claims that the scam has become more profitable and widespread.