The scam is called “Pig Butchering” and has been described as being a “horrible hybrid” of romance and investment scams by the consumer group Which?
Brits have been issued with a warning over a new scam which is making the rounds and has cost one victim a monumental £107,000.
The scam is called “Pig Butchering” and has been highlighted by the consumer group Which? who described it as being a “horrible hybrid” of romance and investment scams.
According to research done by the consumer group, fraudsters “fatten up” their victim with loving words before implementing the investment part of the plan.
The ploy starts off as a dating scam, and the scammer usually reaches out to the victim on dating apps before “love bombing” them over the course of a few weeks.
This can make the person targeted for the scam feel like the scammer has strong feelings for them and that they take a great interest in their life.
After this, the scammer will try and persuade their victim into moving their relationship off the dating platform and onto a private messaging service such as Whatsapp.
This then removes the protections of the dating site.
Which? then explains that once the victim has been “sufficiently groomed” – the scammer will then claims that they have success in investing.
This is typically in property or cor cryptocurrency and they then offer to invest some of the victim’s money for them.
If the victim shows interest or consents, the scammers sometimes show them a crypto trading platform, which of course is controlled by them, and encourages them to sign up and invest their cash.
Sometimes they will try and pursued you to put in larger pots of cash as they “can do better” when trading.
Once this has been done, the scammer usually makes a run for it with the money and will then ghost the victim.
Which? highlighted that one victim, who was a former Somerset police officer, lost £107,000 to the Pig Butchering scam thinking she was investing in a retirement apartment in Cyprus.
Five warnings signs of a possible romance scam
- Sudden online romance with someone who seems a perfect match
- Profile pictures that appear professional or “model-like”
- Quickly moving the conversation to a different platform or app
- Reluctance to appear on camera or meet in person
- Requests for financial support, whatever the story or amounts
How to protect yourself from romance scams
- Don’t give away too many personal details when speaking online to someone you’ve never met in person.
- Stay on the dating site’s messaging service until you meet in person or through the app’s in-app video function. Criminals will seek to switch to less regulated, end-to-end encrypted platforms, to hide evidence of their actions.
- Most online platforms have tools to report suspicious behaviour. Reporting their user profile means it can be blocked, which helps protect others.
- If you’re in an online relationship, it’s worth checking in with a friend or a member of your family on how it’s going. Sometimes people around us can help to spot warning signs and inconsistencies when we’re too caught up in the moment.
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