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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Pig Butchering Scam Increasing
February 26, 2023

Pig Butchering Scam Increasing

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Pig Butchering Scam Increasing

The scam strategy has a name — “pig-butchering,” referring to winning people’s trust with quick initial gains that scammers then use to lure bigger investments, fattening them up like pigs before the slaughter.

The fraudsters meet potential targets on dating apps or other platforms, most recently including Airbnb.

Fraudsters frequently spend months earning the trust of their victims. After developing a rapport and moving the conversation off a social networking app and onto another messaging service, the scammer will mention their success investing in crypto and offer to coach the potential victim on how to turn their own profits.

Scammers explain to crypto newcomers how to set up an account with a name-brand trading exchange, such as Coinbase or, and tell them to deposit $1,000 or $2,000 there. They then direct them to send their crypto to what looks like another investment platform, though it is an account controlled by the scammer.

The scammer walks the victim through some initial trades that appear to produce healthy gains and then encourages the target to test the enterprise by withdrawing the funds. Convinced that huge returns are within easy grasp, many victims will overextend themselves, including taking out loans against their homes, to plow into the fraud.

Once scammers have secured a sizable haul from a victim, they typically move within hours to convert the stolen crypto into traditional currency. With most of the scam’s perpetrators operating out of Southeast Asia, frequently beyond the reach of federal agents, there is little U.S. authorities can do. It can take victims weeks or longer to realize they have been defrauded and then report the crime.

What is pig-butchering?

1. The scammer meets a potential victim on a dating app or another social media platform

2. The scammer establishes trust with a potential victim by building a personal relationship, before suggesting that they invest in cryptocurrency

3. The scammer convinces the victim to set up an account on a trading platform such as Coinbase so they can start investing

4. The scammer then directs the victim to send their crypto to another investment platform, which is actually a fake platform controlled by the scammer

5. The scammer continues to encourage the victim to invest in crypto, encouraging them withdraw the funds to prove that it is legitimate

6. The scammer nudges the victim to invest more and more

7. Once the victim has made a sizable amount of money, the scammer steals the crypto and converts it to traditional currency before ghosting the victim

8. By the time the victim realizes what has happened, there’s little recourse they can take to get their money back. These scammers generally operate in China and Southeast Asia, so there is little U.S. authorities can do.

It will become the costliest internet scam in the U.S. by dollars lost within a couple of years, if it hasn’t done so already If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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