Smartphone owners have been warned about a new breed of scam that can steal their money.
Criminals are using dating apps to steal people’s wallets via a “pig slaughter” scam, cybersecurity firm NordVPN has warned.
What is a “pig slaughter scam”?
“Pig slaughter” refers to a cryptocurrency investment project.
Scammers typically lure their victims to fake crypto trading platforms and steal funds after establishing a romantic connection
“The pig slaughter scam first originated in China, where it is known by the Chinese phrase Shāz Hū Pán (literally ‘pig slaughter’),” said Adrianus Warmenhoven, cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.
“The term itself is quite literal — the scammer gains the trust of his victim (the pig) and lures him into a complex scam (fattens him) before taking the victim’s money (the slaughter).”
In April, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Americans lost around $112 million worth of cryptocurrencies to hog slaughter scams.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
The most common way scammers come forward is through a message, most commonly through a dating app like Tinder or Bumble.
When the scammer matches up with a potential victim, he begins to develop a close relationship.
Eventually they will mention how much money they made thanks to an investment or app.
Finally, they suggest investment advice to their victim so that they too can earn money.
This is when they trick their victims into “investing” in cryptocurrencies.
Scammers can even generate fraudulent returns to trick the victim into investing.
This, in turn, gives victims the impression that their funds are growing exponentially.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
NordVPN has outlined a few ways individuals can reduce their risk of fraud.
First, be wary of anyone you meet online — especially if they’re showing red flags like “love bombing” or asking for personal information.
Second, always check the validity of all stranger investment opportunities on social media sites.
Finally, it’s important to make sure your logins are secure with a password manager and antivirus software.