Pig butchering scams target cryptocurrency investors

Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:00 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Scammers have always found a way to target the wallets of unsuspecting victims, but now there is a new frontier for fraud.

FBI agents are calling it pig butchering and it focuses on cryptocurrency.

The Bureau said it starts with someone randomly sending a text or an email. When you respond saying the sender has the wrong contact, they keep messaging instead of cutting off communication.

The criminals build a rapport with their victims and before you know it they share a cryptocurrency investment that is too good to be true.

“And then they’ll send you an app or spreadsheets or something that shows your investment just skyrocketing,” FBI Agent Jesse Schibilia said. “So you send them $10,000, $50,000, $100,000. Every transfer that you do is like a cut of meat off of a pig. So that’s why they call it pig butchering.”

Younger investors seem to fall for these types of scams, Schibilia said. Victims become fixated on the dollar signs that never existed in the first place and before they know it they lose thousands of dollars.