Srinagar, Nov 20: In the cyber crime world ‘Pig Butchering’ scam has now started to hoodwink and loot money from people even as the Ministry of Home Affairs Cyber monitoring wing Cyber Dost has urged people to take precautions.
The new scam ‘Pig Butchering’ includes a sophisticated new twist that combines a romance scam with an investment spin.
The term ‘Pig Butchering’ refers to a time-tested, heavily scripted, and contact intensive process to fatten up the prey before slaughter.
The scams originated in Southeast Asia and are spreading globally at a fast pace. This scam is predominately executed by a ring of crypto currency scammers who mine dating apps and social media sites in search of victims.
“Don’t let an unknown online friend abuse your emotions #Dial1930 to report online financial fraud and report any #cybercrime at cybercrime.gov.in,” Cyber Dost posted on X.
“It involves a con artist creating a fake profile used to reach out to potential victims often through social media, WhatsApp, Tinder or other dating sites, and even random texts, masquerading as an incorrect number or an old acquaintance. The goal is to initiate a cordial discussion with the victim, attempting to be their new friend or lover,” said Cyber Police official here adding that so far no such case had been registered in Kashmir. “The new friend creates reasons to continue a conversation, which leads to multiple calls. They slowly develop a relationship so they can insert themselves into their victim’s daily life.”
While building trust with the victim, the official said that they slowly introduce the idea of making a business investment.
“The victim is gradually drawn into what appears to be benign talk about investments and earnings, but they are really being manipulated to make an investment,” he said.
While discovering that person is being dragged into ‘Pig Butchering’, in case, officials said that the strangers sending seemingly innocuous text messages out of the blue.
The strangers, they said then quickly try to move the conversation to WhatsApp or another social media site.
“Such people who avoid video-calling with multiple excuses or flatly refuse to initiate any kind of video-calling are the suspects running such scams,” the officials said adding that these people chit-chatting about their insider investment knowledge.
“Mostly the URL of the investment platform doesn’t match the official website of a popular cryptocurrency market or exchange but may be very similar,” they said, adding that the investment app generates warnings of being “untrusted” when launched, or the computer’s antivirus software marks it as potentially dangerous. However, the investment opportunity sounds too good to be true.