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FEB 21, 2024

How To Identify Pig Butchering Scams: A Real-Life Story

by Crypto Safety First

Pig Butchering Scam - A few months ago, I would have been one of those who thoughts: How could anyone ever fall for these?
This is the real-life story of how a hard-working person was scammed of 150,000 US dollars in a pig butchering scam.
This person made his story available so we could learn from his experience and avoid getting scammed.
In his article, you will learn about a real-life pig butchering scam and useful information to identify, avoid, and report scams.

Listen To My Story. Let Me Be An Example

The whole story (2826 words long) has been posted by ‘umdontbejelly’ on Reddit as ‘Listen to my story. Let me be an example.
This is a summary:
A 32-year-old Navy Veteran was contacted through Facebook by a person named ‘Stacy Chen.’
The Veteran thought this could be a scam, but after researching, he verified that a real person had contacted him. It was not a chatbot.
Out of loneliness or weakness, he decided to progress with the Facebook conversation, which was rather uneventful for two months.
After two months, the Veteran was asked by Stacy to start using a different app to continue the conversations.
After four months, the scam started in full when Stacy started to talk to the veteran about cryptocurrency investment opportunities through a crypto trading investment platform (Pampa Pro).
The Veteran started by sending small sums of money to the investment platform suggested by Lucy. Initially, all went well, and the veteran could see that profits were generated through the investment platform.
The profits he was making and the insistence from Lucy convinced the veteran to send more and more money to the investment platform. He didn’t suspect much because he could withdraw assets without problems.
Eventually, the veteran requested a large withdrawal of 16,000 USD, which is when he realized he had been scammed.
The investment platform asked the veteran for a KYC (Know Your Customer) verification that the veteran found suspicious.
After some research, he realized he had fallen victim to a pig butchering scam.
At that point, he had transferred all his savings, 150,000 USD, to the investment platform. It is hard-earned money earned through years of challenging work.
Who could anyone ever fall for those?
The author of the Reddit post mentions:
‘’A few months ago, I would’ve been one of those people who thought, “how could anyone ever fall for these?” Now, here I am, as the punchline to the joke’’
In reality, many people fall for pig butchering scams or other scams.
Not because those people are careless or uneducated but because everyone can have a moment of weakness or loneliness.
Reading through the Reddit post comments, you will notice that more people fell for the same scam. Unfortunately, they didn’t know better, but you can:
  • Learn through the stories that they have kindly shared with us
  • Make other people aware about scams so everyone is better prepared to identify and avoid them
  • Report any scams we come across so malicious websites or apps are removed
Together, we can make cyberspace safer for everyone.

How to Identify Scams

To identify scams, you should use your knowledge + awareness + some tools.
Increase your knowledge about scams and scammers.
How many of the following scams do you recognize and would be able to identify?:
  • Spear phishing
  • Angler phishing
  • Clone phishing
  • Whaling
  • Vishing
  • Ice Phishing
  • Unicode domain phishing
  • Fake browser extension phishing
  • Smishing
  • Dusting
Knowledge is the best defense against hacks and scams. But you can combine knowledge with awareness and tools for maximum protection.
AND become aware of ongoing scams.
You are ready for this article and are increasing your awareness already.
If you have no time to run your research, consider subscribing to the ‘5-minute crypto and digital safety power-ups’ blog so we can work for you and deliver short but eye-opening stories about digital and crypto cybersecurity.
AND use free tools to investigate suspicious applications, websites, or files.
Some tools are quite useful in detecting malicious websites and harmful files and can aid in detecting scams. We have mentioned some of those tools in the posts:

How To Report Scams

If you ever come across a phishing website, please consider reporting it.
It takes two minutes to complete a report, and you may do someone a great favor.
Because once you have reported a malicious website, it will be added to a database of dangerous websites.
While writing this post, one of our colleagues received a malicious SMS (smishing), and we have decided to safely click on that link to show you the benefits of reporting a malicious website.
We copied the malicious ‘Binance Airdrop’ link to the web browser where we had previously installed the Phantom, Metamask, Wallet Guard, and Coinbase extensions.
And this is how all the extensions have displayed warnings alerting us that the website we are trying to access is malicious.
This is possible because the Binance Airdrop phishing website has probably already been reported malicious.
1st warning
The Phantom wallet displayed the first warning.
We have decided to ignore the warning only and proceed further. We have done this because we want to use the screenshots for educational purposes. You should not proceed further if a similar message is displayed to you.
2nd warning
After ignoring the Phantom Wallet warning, the Metamask Wallet warning was displayed immediately.
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