By Michael B. Cohen
Vice President of Global Operations
Pig butchering scams. It’s a startling phrase but it’s not hyperbole, since the result of this dangerous type of scheme is no less than financial carnage. It’s estimated that in 2021, $429 million was lost to these types of frauds.
What do pig butchering scams involve? Does it have to do with farming or spam in your inbox? Actually, it’s an alternate strategy to spam. Consumers are hit with thousands of advertisements on websites and through spam emails and texts. We adapt to this reality and ignore most of it.
A Fraudster’s Alternative to Spam
Pig butchering scams seem to be an evolution from spam, which is easily dismissed. People tend to just dismiss highly promotional material from a sender they don’t know. Instead, pig butchering fraudsters decide to get to know their victims through other means. They gradually build their trust before encouraging them to invest huge amounts of money in a false scheme.
The FBI has issued a report warning the public about pig butchering scams, which they describe as schemes that “feed their victims with promises of romance and riches before cutting them off and taking all their money.”
Pig butchering fraudsters play the long game. They work on the principle that if they get to know their prey, and build their trust, they can not only encourage them to invest in their phony venture but “invest” increasingly large amounts of money. After all, people feel more comfortable entrusting their money with people they know than complete strangers.
How Pig Butchering Frauds Work
The best way to stay safe from pig butchering scams is to know what to expect so you can take precautions. One of the favorite methods these fraudsters use is to pretend to send a message by accident.
We all receive erroneous messages from time to time, but the difference is that we aren’t usually engaged in conversation immediately after such a mistake. From here, they will try to initiate a friendship or a deeper connection. However, it won’t take long before they’ll encourage you to invest in a deal that, of course, they guarantee will succeed.
To foster the trust they’ve built, the fraudster will show fake documentation claiming that the first investment yielded huge profits. From here, they’ll encourage their new “friend” to invest more and more money.
When the other party asks for access to funds or begins to suspect a problem, the fraudster will ghost the other party, block them and disappear without a trace. Since their identity on WhatsApp or social media is fake, they can make off with the funds.
How to Stay Safe from Pig Butchering Frauds?
Beware of the following and consider them red flags that warn of potential frauds.
Mistaken Texts or Messages Followed by Overly-Familiar Conversation
Usually, when there is an accidental text or call, people will cordially and promptly sign off. However, if someone wants to establish a connection with you after an erroneous text, that’s a red flag.
Refuses Audio or Video Call
This person may seem to want to be friends or more than friends, and yet they won’t talk on the phone or make a video call. They may provide excuses, but be careful.
Other Party Keeps Switching the Conversation to Money
We don’t usually strike up a conversation with someone on regular social media or a dating site with the goal of making money. For that, we’d seek out a broker. However, it’s amazing how often people who meet someone on social media can be persuaded to take a course, buy something or invest money.
If your conversation turns quickly to money or if the other party keeps changing the subject back to trading deals, it may be a good idea to give this friendship a miss.
If you’ve lost money to a pig butchering scam, don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone. Millions are being lost yearly to this type of fraud. Fortunately, there are ways you can track down your funds. Talk to MyChargeBack experts and we have the solutions to locate your money.
MyChargeBack Will Investigate Your Fraud Case
MyChargeBack has developed working relationships with law enforcement agencies worldwide, has extensive knowledge and experience with crypto tracking, and can improve your prospects of getting your funds back.