pig butchering scam

In the last few weeks I have sadly received 3 calls a week about a loved one being scammed and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, alienating family and not being able to discern that the reach out is not real rather a most clever ploy to pull at one’s heartstrings and purses or life savings.

Caught in a web of get rich schemes or finding your own true love, scammers have become so sophisticated that it’s hard today to be discerning. The challenge when folks call is the person has little resources, families are distraught and angry, and the authorities have been little to no help. For example in addition to buying money cards, transferring money by Zelle has become common and there is no recourse if you transfer money by Zelle. There is in fact a huge disclaimer.

I don’t believe anyone is immune to being a target, and just this morning, I got a reach out via Facebook messenger from a long time old friend who was “allegedly” in need of help. That person is not in need; rather she is safely at her home enjoying her life.

That being stated, one of the most heinous and sophisticated scams that is ravaging loved ones is called The Pig Butchering Scam.

The information below from Aura.com will help you identify the Pig Butchering scam and know the warning signs.

The following is from this article. Click here to read it in its entirety: https://www.aura.com/learn/the-pig-butchering-scam

Drawing its name from the Chinese phrase, Shāzhūpán, pig butchering scams are long-term con jobs that combine elements of romance scams, investment schemes, and cryptocurrency fraud.

Here’s how a pig butchering scam plays out:
  • The scammer — or “host” — initiates contact with a target online via social media, a dating app, or by sending a “wrong number” text message.
  • Once hosts find a suitable target — the proverbial “pig” — they stay in constant contact to build a relationship.
  • After earning the victim’s trust, the host encourages the victim to start cryptocurrency trading. The host will claim to have insider tips or family connections in the investment industry, and explain that massive returns are common.
  • The host then encourages the victim to download an app — and offers to trade together, showing how easy it is to yield returns. However, it’s a fraudulent platform controlled by a gang of scammers.
  • Once victims join the platform, the host simulates trades to make it look like they’re earning profits. The host may even encourage victims to withdraw some of their “gains” to build their confidence.
  • Convinced that everything is bonafide, victims invest larger and larger sums of money. Over time, the host continues to manipulate victims (and the platform) to keep them investing. This step is known as “fattening the pig” before a proverbial slaughter.
  • Later, when victims try to withdraw their money, the platform will claim there’s an issue with the account — or will inform them that they need to pay massive fees and taxes to get their cash.
  • Eventually, the victim realizes the truth — and the fraudster (and platform) disappear. As all transactions happen on the blockchain, recovering the funds is almost impossible.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), these long-term schemes originated in China in 2019. Since then, Southeast Asia has become a hotspot — as gangs in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar run a corporate-like structure, using human trafficking victims to run the scams [*].

So, how can you avoid becoming a victim of this advanced scam?

The article goes on to tell of 10 warning signs of the pig butchering scam. Click here to read the entire article, including the 10 warning signs: https://www.aura.com/learn/the-pig-butchering-scam