|Pig butchering among most convincing scams of 2023 so far.
⛔ ‘Pig butchering’ scams have been given their name by fraudsters because they ‘fatten up’ the victim by forming a romantic connection before executing the investment part of the scam. The scammer and victim typically meet on a dating site and the victim is ‘love-bombed’ over a period of weeks by someone who appears to take a great interest in their life. The scammer will often encourage their victim to move from the dating platform to a private messaging service, thus removing them from any protections the dating site might offer.
When the victim is sufficiently groomed, the scammer claims they have been having success investing – typically in property or cryptocurrency – and they offer to invest some of the victim’s money. If the victim consents, they are sometimes shown a crypto trading platform controlled by the scammers, and encouraged to sign up and begin depositing funds. One UK victim, a former Somerset police officer, lost £107k to such a scam, believing she was investing in retirement apartments in Cyprus.
🚨 This is a scam.
To avoid the scam, look out for signs of ‘love-bombing’, attempts to move onto a private messaging platform, reluctance to meet in person and requests for money or a concerted effort to get the person to ‘invest’. For those in an online relationship, it is worth checking in with a friend or a member of your family on how it is going, sometimes other people can help to spot warning signs and inconsistencies when we are too caught up in the moment.
Information provided from the Which? website.
For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice on consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.