The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning regarding fake investment schemes that are defrauding millions of people worldwide out of millions of dollars every day. The scheme, dubbed ‘Pig butchering,’ where the target, called the Pig (what a horrible name), is tricked into making fake investments. The whole scheme is persuasive and has deceived many people. You can read the complete advisory HERE, and here are a few of the main points:
“The fraudsters make contact with their victims on various social media or dating applications (either spoofing long lost contacts known to the victim or posing as a potential friend or romantic partner) and often spend time gaining the victim’s confidence and trust. The victims are then coached through the investment process and encouraged to make continuous deposits by the fraudsters. The fake websites/apps allow the victims to track their investments and give the impression they are growing exponentially. When the victims attempt to cash out their investments, they are told they need to pay income taxes or additional fees, causing them to lose additional funds. The victims are unable to retrieve their purported investments and often lose contact with the fraudsters, either due to the closing of the fraudulent website or the fraudster ceases contact with the victim.
Many victims report being directed to make wire transfers to overseas accounts or purchase large amounts of prepaid cards. The use of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency ATMs is also an emerging method of payment. Individual losses related to these schemes ranged from tens of thousands to millions of dollars”
How to stay safe, according to the FBI:
- Verify the validity of any investment opportunity from strangers or long-lost contacts on social media websites.
- Be on the lookout for domain names that impersonate legitimate financial institutions, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Misspelled URLs, often with a slight deviation from the actual financial institutions’ website, may be fake.
- Do not download or use suspicious looking apps as a tool for investing unless you can verify the legitimacy of the app.
- If an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Be cautious of get rich quick schemes.
If you are in any doubt, do not proceed. We can help you as well, so if you have any doubts, send us an email, and we will let you know if it is safe or not.
All the best,
Incognito Privacy Care Team.