What Is ‘Pig Butchering,’ the Crypto Scam That’s Flooding the FBI’s Phone Lines?


A “pig butchering” scam has a few basic elements to it. Each individual piece isn’t so different from a lot of other crypto scams, though they do offer a noxious brew when mixed together.

The broad strokes go something like this:

  • The scammer targets a victim on a dating app like Tinder, initiating a romantic relationship that’s exclusively online
  • Through online chats, a level of trust is established
  • Inevitably, the “lover” encourages their target to invest in cryptocurrency, commonly directing them to a fake website or app that is secretly controlled by the scammer
  • After the victim has agreed to invest some money in the phony platform, the lover disappears (along with the money)—never to be seen again

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