Forget about Ponzi and pyramid schemes–they’re a thing of the past.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning of a new crypto investment scheme where scammers pose as uber-successful traders to lure victims. The FBI has dubbed this “Pig Butchering.”
Given the state of the 21st century, it’s only natural for scammers to use digital platforms to scout and recruit prey. And this is what they’re doing.
The FBI reports these imposters connect with potential victims through social media platforms and dating websites. It is here they pretend to be a long-lost friend or an interested romantic partner.
The scammers then work to earn the trust of the victim before interesting them in this fake investment venture.
Should the targets comply, they will be directed to fake platforms to track the “investment.” Additionally, these platforms show the funds are making a nice profit.
“The victims are then coached through the investment process and encouraged to make continuous deposits by the fraudsters,” reports the FBI. “The fake websites/apps allow the victims to track their investments and give the impression they are growing exponentially.”
Victims of this scheme claim they were instructed to buy large quantities of prepaid debit cards, wire cash to overseas accounts and send funds via cryptocurrency.
Not surprisingly, they also claim that they were discouraged from withdrawing their investments and earnings. Similar to a Ponzi scheme.
If the victims attempt to withdraw their investments, they are asked to pay extra charges such as revenue taxes.
The finale is the victims failing to retrieve their investments and then losing all contact with the imposter.
The FBI asks victims of the Pig Butchering scheme to reach out via the Web Crime Criticism Middle on the bureau’s website.