What Is ‘Pig Butchering’? The Dating Scams To Look Out For This Year | #datingscams | #lovescams

Britain’s leading consumer watchdog, Which? Magazine has flagged the most prolific online scams currently in circulation. They include dating cons known as ‘pig butchering’, fake missing person appeals and fraudulent apps that are scamming countless people.

What is the ‘pig butchering’ dating con?

One of the most concerning new scams is called ‘pig butchering’, a reference to how fraudsters will ‘fatten up’ victims by forming romantic connections with them online before convincing them to partake in an investment scam. Meeting on dating apps, victims are typically groomed by the scammer who convinces the person they are successful at investing in property or cryptocurrency, then offering to invest some of the victim’s money.

A common tactic involved in the scam is fraudsters love bombing potential victims in order to build trust, and Which? have advised people to look out for such warning signs, which also include attempts to move on to a private messaging platform, reluctance to meet in person and requests for money or a concerted effort to get the person to ‘invest’.

‘It’s appalling that 2023 has seen scammers continuing to thrive, as a new wave of convincing scams bombards consumers from every direction,’ says Lisa Barber, the computing editor of Which? ‘The sad theme of all these scams is that tech platforms – whether social media, app stores or payment services – don’t always keep you safe. Responsibility should not fall solely on the shoulders of consumers. Tech platforms and the government need to up their game and better prevent scammers reaching potential victims.’

Other potential scams include fraudsters posting fake missing people posts in community pages online. Upon investigation into some of the posts, researchers found numerous near-identical missing person appeals, simply with the location changed. App stores aren’t safe either, with online security firm Praedo discovering a ‘security app’ on Google Play last year that called itself the 2FA Authenticator, but it wasn’t a security app at all, it stole users’ banking information. The app had been installed more than 10,000 times before it was discovered and that same year, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, found 400 Android and iOS apps stealing users’ Facebook login details.

What does all of this mean? We all need to be extra diligent about the apps we install, and the people we talk to when we’re using them!

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