The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning of a new crypto investment scheme called Pig Butchering, involving scammers pretending to be highly successful crypto traders to entice potential victims.
The FBI says that the fraudsters scout for targets on social media and dating sites where they spoof the person’s long-lost contacts or pretend to be a potential friend or romantic partner.
The perpetrators would then spend time gaining the victim’s trust and then get them interested in the fake investment scheme.
Once their targets are onboard, the swindlers provide fake platforms for tracking the supposed investment and give the impression that the funds are making a profit.
“The victims are then coached through the investment process and encouraged to make continuous deposits by the fraudsters. The fake websites/apps allow the victims to track their investments and give the impression they are growing exponentially.”
The victims claim they were directed to wire money to overseas accounts, buy large amounts of prepaid cards, or send funds using cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency ATMs.
The scammers also employ schemes to discourage the withdrawal of funds. The scammers tell their victims that they need to pay income taxes or additional fees when they attempt to cash out their investments.
The victims eventually fail to retrieve their investments which range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. They also lose contact with the fraudsters, who either close the website or stop contacting the victim.
The FBI urges victims of the Pig Butchering scheme and related scams to file a report with the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
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