What is a pig slaughter scam?

Digital scams like business email compromise and romantic scam generate billions of dollars for criminals. And they all start with a bit of “social engineering” to trick victims into doing something detrimental, whether it’s trusting someone they shouldn’t or depositing money in the blank. Now, a new variant of these schemes, known as “pork dissection,” is on the rise, trapping gullible targets to steal all their money and operate on a massive scale, largely thanks to forced labor.

Pig slaughter scams originated in China, where they are known for their Chinese version of the phrase shāzhūpan because of the approach that the attackers basically fatten up the victim and then take everything they have. These scams are usually cryptocurrency schemes, although they can also involve other types of financial transactions.

Scammers cold-contact people on SMS or other social media, dating and communication platforms. Usually they will just say “Hi” or something like “Hi Josh, nice to see you again last week!” If the recipient responds saying that the attacker has dialed the wrong number, the scammer will seize the opportunity to start a conversation and direct the victim to feel like they have made a new friend. After establishing a relationship, the attacker will introduce the idea that they have made a lot of money investing in cryptocurrencies and ask the target to consider joining when possible.

Next, the scammer establishes a target with a malicious app or web platform that appears to be trusted and can even impersonate the platforms of legitimate financial institutions. Once inside the portal, victims can often see real-time market data curated to show the potential of an investment. And once a target funds their “investment account”, they can begin to watch their balance “go up”. Creating malicious financial platforms to look legitimate and sophisticated is a hallmark of pig-slaughtering scams, as are other behaviors that add authenticity, such as allowing victims to make a video call with their new “friend” or allow them to withdraw some money from it. platform to reassure them. The latter is a tactic that scammers also use in traditional Ponzi schemes.

While the hoax has some new twists and turns, you can still see where it’s going. Once the victim has deposited all the money they have and everything the scammers can lend them, the attackers close the account and disappear.

“It’s the whole hog slaughter,” said Sean Gallagher, a senior threat researcher at security firm Sophos, who’s been tracking hog slaughter as it emerged for the past three years. will attack pigs.” “They go after vulnerable people. Some of the victims are people with long-term health problems, older people, people who feel isolated. They want every last cry, and they are persistent.

While the execution of pig slaughter scams takes a lot of communication and relationship building with the victim over time, the researchers say criminal syndicates in China have developed Scenarios and plays allow them to hand off work on a large scale to inexperienced scammers or even forced laborers. victims of human trafficking.


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