In a recent crackdown on the “Pig butchering” scam, the US law agencies seize $112 million worth of crypto. The idea behind this scam can be described in four words. Lure, befriend, feed and cut just like what is done with pigs. Hackers use “social engineering” skills to get to their victims and rob them of their money. The scam is so cruel that even at the hacker’s end, they use forced labour to orchestrate the same.
Pig Butchering scam
This particular type of scam originated in China and employs age-old techniques used in the butchering of pigs. As you may know, before pigs are slaughtered, they are fed well to fatten them up and produce more meat. In this scam, the victims are treated in a similar way, with scammers preying on vulnerable, elderly, or uninformed individuals, gradually gaining their trust until they are ready to be exploited. Cryptocurrency is often the preferred payment method for these scams.
Research indicates that scammers target those who lack knowledge of the system or are vulnerable due to age or other factors. The scammers invest considerable time and effort in cultivating a relationship with the victim until they are ready to be exploited. While the success rate may only be 10-20%, it is still considered a worthwhile venture for scammers. Unfortunately, criminal syndicates in China create scripts and playbooks, often forcing new scammers or even trafficking victims into these scams.
US’s recent crackdown
The Department of Justice recently announced that they had seized $112 million in crypto that was found linked to such scams. The case is still open, and the investigation is continuing. The funds that were seized belonged to 6 virtual accounts, and the seizure approval came from the judges in the District of Arizona and Idaho. The accounts were involved in the laundering of funds that were acquired illegally from the scams.
It is good to see that strict actions are being taken by the authorities against such malicious activities. That’s because, in 2022, the total cryptocurrency fraud rose to $2.57 billion, a 183% increase from the previous year.
What are your thoughts as the US law agencies seize $112 million worth of crypto in their attempt to stop money laundering? And do you think the number of crypto scams will continue to rise in 2023? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found our content informative, share it with your family and friends.