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Sunday, January 14, 2024

$9 million seized from “pig butchering” scammers who preyed on lonely hearts

US authorities have seized nearly $9 million price of cryptocurrency linked to a gang engaged in cryptocurrency funding fraud and romance scams.

The US Division of Justice has introduced that the seized funds are related to cryptocurrency pockets addresses alleged to be related to a “pig butchering” gang that has claimed over 70 victims around the globe.

“Pig butchering” is likely one of the world’s fastest-growing forms of scams. Usually, fraudsters lure unwary victims into a web based romance (typically having made the preliminary method by way of a relationship website or an unsolicited message by way of social media), constructing belief over time earlier than finally manipulating their goal into investing in a cryptocurrency platform.

Nonetheless, what the sufferer would not know is that the fraudster additionally controls the cryptocurrency platform and can finally vanish, taking all the cash with them.

The “pigs” (the victims) are successfully being “fattened up” for “slaughter” (the eventual theft of as a lot cash as attainable.)

In line with the US Division of Justice, its investigators have been in a position to hint victims’ deposits, observing that the scammers would shortly launder their ill-gotten funds by a number of cryptocurrency addresses and completely different digital currencies – a method referred to as “chain hopping.”

“These scammers prey on peculiar buyers by creating web sites that inform victims their investments are working to make them cash. The reality is that these worldwide felony actors are merely stealing cryptocurrency and leaving victims with nothing,” mentioned Performing Assistant Legal professional Normal Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Division’s Legal Division. “This seizure also needs to function a reminder to cybercriminals that, though the present panorama of the cryptocurrency ecosystem could appear to be a really perfect option to launder ill-gotten positive aspects, legislation enforcement will proceed to develop the experience wanted to observe the cash and seize it again for victims.”

Earlier this 12 months, the US Division of Justice revealed that it had seized roughly $122 million price of cryptocurrency from accounts linked to pig butchering funding scams.

In 2022, the FBI’s Web Crime Criticism Heart (IC3) reported that funding fraud brought about larger losses than some other type of rip-off reported by the general public, with a complete of $3.31 billion, with pig butchering and different cryptocurrency-related fraud taking the bulk share.

Victims of web scams are suggested to file reviews with the FBI’s IC3 and with the FTC.

Editor’s Observe: The opinions expressed on this visitor writer article are solely these of the contributor, and don’t essentially mirror these of Tripwire.

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