Picture this: you connect with a stranger on social media, messaging apps, or dating sites. The stranger appears like someone that you can trust. Unbeknownst to you, they had just manipulated you to invest in a shady crypto or trading site. Surely nothing can go wrong, right? You kept believing that the stranger had no bad intentions for you and that investing in the cryptocurrency site that they had recommended may benefit you financially. When you look at the site, it does look like you are earning substantial returns. Therefore, motivates you to invest more and more money on that site. However, once you try to withdraw your funds, the site goes offline, as with that stranger-turned-friend who convinced you to invest in the first place. You have just become the victim of the latest crypto scam tactic, the pig butchering scam.
What is a pig butchering scam?
The name says it all. In this scam tactic, the victim is almost like a pig raised for slaughter, with the funds invested in the scam website as its food. Pig butchering scams first originated in China, with victims found worldwide. Although they usually target white-collar workers in developed countries such as the United States, this does not mean that Indonesia is safe from this scam. Alarmingly, there are reports of Indonesians being trafficked to countries such as Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar to operate the scam. The trafficked workers are forced to find victims to scam so that they can fulfill a quota that enables them to get meagerly paid. This scam usually targets people who are new to cryptocurrency trading or investments, so they are still oblivious to the blaring warning signs. These warning signs include:
- A fraudulent identity. The scammer may use a fraudulent identity, disguising themselves as the victim’s old acquaintance who has a lavish lifestyle to look convincing to the victim and gain trust.
- Conversations that always lead to cryptocurrencies or other investments. Although it is a common topic to talk about, it is crucial to be aware as this conversation topic will lead to the scammer asking you to invest in a fraudulent cryptocurrency website that they may claim is legal and regulated.
- An investment offering high returns with minimal risk. The scammer will try to convince you that you will get high returns with almost no risk if you decide to invest. It is crucial to know that no investment is truly risk-free.
- Suspicious links to an investment and trading website. The scammer will send you a link to a cryptocurrency trading/investment website that is labeled as official and secure, which is not. Be wary of this, as this could be both a phishing scheme and a one-way ticket to becoming a pig butchering fraud victim.
According to data gathered from globalantiscam.org, scammers will force their victims to invest as much money as possible in the fraudulent website. They convince the victim that by doing this, they can get more profit in return. They also force their victims to empty their savings and borrow money from family or friends.
Pig butchering scams can harm businesses in Indonesia in various ways:
- Financial loss: Employees getting involved in this scam may conduct company funds misuse which can lead to significant financial losses.
- Reputation damage: When a business is associated with scams, it can damage its reputation. Customers and partners may lose trust in the company, impacting its long-term visibility.
- Operational disruption: Scams may disrupt business operations, especially if employees become involved during work hours, which in turn, decreases productivity.
- Data breaches: Some scams involve tricking victims into sharing sensitive information. This can lead to data breaches, compromising the privacy and security of both businesses and customers.
- Legal consequences: Falling victim to a scam can lead to legal and compliance issues, especially if customer data or financial data is compromised.
What to do to prevent pig butchering scams?
Education on the newest scam tactics is a sure way to raise awareness among the public. Pig butchering scam companies, however, are crime syndicates that operate multi-nationally and are hard to crack down. As a business or individual, it is vital to be aware of your security while trying to raise awareness on the issue.
One of the steps in protecting yourself or your business is to implement an identity verification system called True Identity Assurance. True Identity Assurance is a convenient and secure way to verify user identity, as it can be done online anywhere and at any time. This system was created with the most powerful artificial intelligence and accurate biometric technology, acknowledged globally by the NIST. Verifying user identity helps prevent identity forgery and protects your company from other fraudulent activities. True Identity Assurance employs three powerful features to make it harder for scammers to conduct fraudulent activities like spoof attacks or forging identities using stolen credentials.
As an individual on social media or dating apps, it is crucial to be aware of strangers who solicit you for things that sound too good to be true, like a high return from a low-risk investment. Do not invest in companies that you don’t know or trust. Always confirm the genuineness of the person’s identity before sending them money or personal information.
ASLI RI is here to help you protect your finances and identity
With human trafficking together on the table with pig butchering scams, resolving and preventing this issue is a serious matter. Informing others about this scam will help raise awareness and prevent more victims. Likewise, protecting your finances and identity is the utmost priority in the increasingly digitized landscape of today.
ASLI RI’s True Identity Assurance can transform the internet into a safer space by protecting social media and dating app platforms from scammers. Join our fight against fraud now. Contact us through www.asliri.id to learn more.
Last modified: November 9, 2023