As crypto is getting massive adoption and becoming more popular globally, it is important to be aware of the terms in the industry.
‘Pig butchering‘ is one of the latest terms associated with Bitcoin scams. Probably you’ve thought about pigs being slaughtered for consumption, and you’re right. However, in this regard, your hard-earned money is being butchered by scammers after they’ve developed a relationship with you.
This is a type of romance scam. Reports from the Federal Trade Commission over romance scams surged in 2021 compared to 2020. The FBI has now warned people about this scheme which has become rampant today.
In this post, we’ll learn about pig butchering, how it works, and how to avoid it.
What is Pig Butchering?
Pig butchering is among the list of scams in the crypto world. Others include phishing scams, investment scams, extortion scams, loader scams, and romance scams.
As the name implies, “pig butchering” refers to how a target is “fattened up” before being “slaughtered.” It is therefore a type of romance scam where strangers use the strategy of forming a relationship with someone they met online to scam them later.
The trend originated in Southeast Asia and translates to the Chinese word “Shāzhūpán”. The word refers to a farmer fattening up the pig with food before butchering it.
The number of romance scams reported to the FTC climbed by nearly 70% from 2020 to 2021, reaching 56,000 cases. Based on FTC data, victims reported losing $547 million to these scams, a 78 percent rise over the prior year.
As the FBI has warned, people need to stay on guard and beware of pig butchering scams.
How does it work?
Many are aware of the other common type of Bitcoin scams and have stayed on guard. Scammers also took another route different from the old methods to scam people.
Social media has made it very easy to connect with people these days. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, WhatsApp, and so on are platforms where you can meet people, chat, and get along as if you stay under the same roof.
Scammers build a trusted relationship with their victims for months making it seem they are genuine. The communication mostly takes the romantic route with frequent messages about ‘taking care of each other. Once the offenders gain the victim’s complete trust, they ask them to invest in Ponzi schemes.
Related- How To Identify Crypto Scams
The scheme includes convincing them that investing in cryptos can bring in all the riches. The talks also turn to ‘we can be happy together with the wealth and lead a good future.
The victims then wire the scamsters the money hoping to get rich quickly and lead a romantic yet comfortable life. Once the money is transferred, the scamsters block the victim and make way with the funds.
How to avoid Pig Butchering in Crypto
Listed below are ways to avoid crypto scams. This will help you to stay on guard as crypto scams are on the rise.
1. Do your research before investing in cryptocurrency.
2. Don’t trust everyone. Give every message you receive regarding crypto endeavors the greatest level of alertness.
3. Secure your crypto wallet. You can do this by storing your information offline.
4. Use-multi factor authentication. This allows you to fight attackers.
5. Reject fee offers that include prepayment fees especially expenses in cryptographic money.
6. Keep your security keys safe.
The Bottom Line
As cryptocurrencies provide an avenue to make money quickly, so it is with how you lose money. The investment opportunities can make one fall into pig butchering scams after building a relationship with a stranger online. Pig butchering is a scam you need to watch out for even as you connect with the world.