A Global Scam That Preys on the Vulnerable: How Pig-Butchering Schemes Have Cost Victims $75 Billion

By Markus David
Director of Professional Services


Pig-butchering scams are a type of fraud that targets people who are looking for a quick and easy way to make money. The scam involves promising them high returns and low risks. However, the scam operators never deliver on their promises, and instead use various tactics to deceive and manipulate the victims, such as:

  • Creating fake websites, contracts, certificates, and invoices to make the business seem legitimate.
  • Using fake or stolen identities, phone numbers, and bank accounts to avoid detection and traceability.
  • Threatening or blackmailing the victims if they question the legitimacy of the business or try to withdraw their investment.

According to a report by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), pig-butchering scams have been reported in more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. The report estimates that the total losses suffered by the victims amount to $75 billion. The report also warns that the scam operators are constantly adapting and evolving their methods to evade law enforcement and target new victims.

The impact of pig-butchering scams on the victims is not only financial, but also psychological and emotional. Many victims experience stress, anxiety, depression, anger, shame, guilt, or even suicidal thoughts after realizing that they have been scammed. Some victims may also face legal consequences if they borrowed money from banks or other sources to invest in the scam. Moreover, some victims may lose their trust in others or become more vulnerable to other types of fraud.

To protect yourself from pig-butchering scams and other similar frauds, you should always be cautious and vigilant when dealing with any online or offline business opportunities. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

  • Do your own research before investing in any business. Check the credibility and reputation of the company, the product, and the people involved. Verify the information from multiple sources and look for any red flags or inconsistencies.
  • Do not trust anyone who contacts you unsolicitedly via phone call, email, text message, social media, or any other means. Do not click on any links or attachments that they send you. Do not provide them with any personal or financial information.
  • Do not be pressured or rushed into making any decisions. Take your time to evaluate the offer and ask questions. Do not sign any contracts or documents without reading them carefully and understanding them fully. Do not pay any money upfront or agree to any terms that you are not comfortable with. Pig-butchering scams are a global problem that affects millions of people around the world. By being aware and informed of this type of fraud, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming victims.

How to Report a Pig-Butchering Scam: A Guide for Victims

If you have been scammed by a pig-butchering scheme or any other similar fraud, you may feel helpless and hopeless. However, you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to report the scam and seek justice. Here are some tips to help you report a pig-butchering scam:

  • Contact your local police or the nearest INTERPOL office as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details and evidence of the scam, such as the names, phone numbers, email addresses, bank accounts, and websites of the scammers. Also, provide them with copies of any contracts, invoices, receipts, or other documents that you have signed or received from the scammers.
  • Contact your bank or financial institution and inform them of the scam. Ask them to freeze or cancel any transactions or accounts that are related to the scam. Also, ask them to issue you a new card or account number if your existing one has been compromised and request that they cooperate with the authorities. Also, ask them to provide you with any information or evidence that they have about the scammers.
  • Contact a lawyer or a legal aid organization and seek legal advice on how to recover your losses or sue the scammers. You may also be eligible for compensation from a victim assistance fund or a consumer protection agency in your country or region.
  • Contact a counselor or a support group and seek emotional support. You may be experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, anger, shame, guilt, or even suicidal thoughts after being scammed. You need to talk to someone who can understand and help you cope with your feelings.

Reporting a pig-butchering scam may not be easy or fast, but it is important and necessary. By reporting the scam, you can help yourself and others from becoming victims. You can also help the authorities to catch and punish the scammers and prevent them from harming more people.