The Pig-Butchering Scam Also known as Sha Zhu Pan (殺豬盤), Crypto Romance Scam, CryptoRom. Targets on dating apps and social media are patiently groomed over weeks to become interested in investing in cryptocurrency, forex, gold, etc. The scammers do not ask for money directly, but instead introduce victims to a sham investment website or app where victims feel safe depositing funds.
Conspiring with “customer service”, the scammers cajole and bully victims into remitting increasingly large amounts of money using a series of psychological techniques and ruses on the website/app they control.
- Presents themselves as good-looking Asian men/women
- Pretends to be a wealthy and successful business owner/investor
- Invests in cryptocurrency, forex, or gold as a hobby or side job
- Generously shares selfies, food, and location photos
- Is looking for a serious relationship
- Fluent in Chinese, usually broken English
- Lives in Chinatown, in your country, or overseas
- Likes to discuss market movements with you and sends screenshots of candlestick charts (“K-line” charts) or math formulas
- Too busy to meet yet, but promises to in the near future
- Too shy for video chats because of past trauma
- Greets you every morning and every night
- Confesses their love within 1-2 weeks and calls you wife, baby, pet names, etc.
- Open about their own finances (assets are always much bigger than yours)
- Talks a lot about chance and fate
- Says you’re not dreaming big enough, but you can dream together now
- Wants to exchange naughty pictures with you
- Invites you to a new third-party website or app they use to invest, or to a broker on MT4 / MT5
- Customer service is on third-party website or on WhatsApp, responsive 24/7
- Can lend you money, a demo account, or their account to try first
- Coaches you to buy crypto on a legitimate exchange
- Coaches you to send your crypto or wire funds into their platform
- Teaches you how to trade and when to trade on their schedule
- Once you deposit real money, you can earn and withdraw profits initially, even up to $10,000
- May suggest that you invite friends and family to this opportunity
- You are informed of a limited-time bonus, overnight, or couples’ package with a high minimum deposit
- To help you make the minimum, they or the platform will “loan” you money (all inside the platform)
- After $5,000 – $10,000, you can no longer withdraw because extra verification fees, taxes, etc. are needed
- You may suddenly lose a lot in one day
- When you complain, they guilt you, blame you, gaslight you, berate you, shame you or doubt your commitment to them
- They may claim that their investments are also stuck but assure you that in their experience, the platform will allow withdrawals after paying
- To help you pay, they “lend” you money (inside the platform)
- They coach you into borrowing from family/friends, selling your assets/home/car, or getting loans (saying it is for home improvement, not for investment)
- If you decline, they may threaten you with any sensitive pictures you’ve sent
- Will tell you that you still owe more (withdrawal fee, tax fee, security fee, verification fee, etc.)
- They ask you to return money they “lent” you
- They deny being a scammer or claim they are victims as well
- They may even call you the scammer!
- They block you and the platform will lock you out of your account
- If any of this sounds familiar to you, you are a victim. Feel free to reach out for support on www.globalantiscam.org.