What is it?
The pig butchering scam refers to cases when scammers use fake profiles and infiltrate dating apps and social media in order to target and lure victims into investing in elaborate crypto investment scams.
The name comes from the way in which the scammers feed the victims with promises of wealth and romance before fleeing with all their money.
How does it work?
Expand this timeline or click the play icon to see the steps in a Pig Butchering Scam:
Why is it so dangerous?
Victims typically include college professors, retired finance professionals, and dedicated young business professionals, and other educated, and/or financially informed individuals. These are people who are viewed as sophisticated, savvy, and highly capable of spotting these types of scams.
What can you do?
Look out for the following red flags:
- Strangers sending seemingly innocuous instant messages on social media or dating apps
- Strangers who quickly try to move your conversation to WhatsApp
- Refusing to initiate any kind of video calling or having excuses why they can’t
- Investment chit-chat about their insider knowledge
The FBI has created a great list of tips you can use as well to protect yourself:
- Never send money, trade, or invest based on the advice of someone you have only met online.
- Don’t talk about your current financial status to unknown and untrusted people.
- Don’t provide your banking information, Social Security Number, copies of your identification or passport, or any other sensitive information to anyone online or to a site you do not know is legitimate.
- If an online investment or trading site is promoting unbelievable profits, it is most likely that—unbelievable.
- Be cautious of individuals who claim to have exclusive investment opportunities and urge you to act fast.
Read the FBI’s article about Pig Butchering, titled “FBI Oregon Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against a New Cryptocurrency Scam: Pig Butchering” here.
Remember, if it is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.