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US FTC Warns Consumers of Rise in Pig Butchering Crypto Scams

Tanzeel Akhtar
Last updated: | 1 min read
FTC Warns Consumers of Rise in Pig Butchering Crypto Scams

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers of the rise in “pig butchering” scams or romance scams involving cryptocurrency investments.

Pig butchering, the term originated in Southeast Asia and comes from the Chinese phrase Shāz Hū Pán. This catfishing-inspired scam usually involves a slow-burning long-term fraud. Scammers will target people online searching for their victims using dating and social media sites.

After building a connection with a person and gaining trust in the victim. There is the fattening up the pig process and then stealing cryptocurrency or money — the butchering.

Over the years romance scams have been plaguing citizens, resulting in significant financial losses amounting to millions.

“They establish an emotional connection with you so you’re more likely to believe that they’re an expert in cryptocurrency investing, for example,” warned the FTC.

“But that online love interest is a scammer. People have lost tens of thousands ― sometimes millions — of dollars to romance scammers,” adds the U.S. commission.

The post warns scammers want your money quickly. So they will steer you to gift cards, payment apps like Apple Pay, CashApp, PayPal, and Zelle, money wiring companies, or even cryptocurrency. But only scammers insist you send money this way.

Crypto Romance Scams More Prevalent

In May, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) warned about a surge in crypto scams targeting Canadian citizens.

In an announcement, the anti-fraud call centre said there has been an increase in two specific types of cryptocurrency scams targeting Canadian citizens, including pig butchering or romance scams, and investment scams.

Recently, Shreya Datta, a 37-year-old tech professional from Philadelphia, fell victim to a cryptocurrency romance scam that left her financially ruined with losses mounting to $450,000.

TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence company, said the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 4,300 complaints related to pig butchering, with cumulative losses surpassing $400 million.

Spread Awareness of Pig Butchering Scams

It is an emerging and rather complex form of investment scam involving a flirtatious stranger convincing an unsuspecting user to part with their savings. Spreading awareness is important.

Here John Oliver discusses the popular internet scam and why it’s easier to fall for it than you might think!