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‘Pig butchering’ scam sees victims groomed for cash

Derbyshire Constabulary have issued a warning to people about ‘pig butchering’ scams which set out to groom a victim and then get them to part with their money.

Pig butchering scams are not new, and are long term frauds that combine investment schemes, romance scams and cryptocurrency frauds.

The scam’s name derives from fraudsters who frequently refer to their victims as 'pigs' who they intend to 'fatten up' before 'butchering' or duping them out of their money.

The scammer will typically approach a victim on social media, dating apps, via email or other online methods. They then look to gain trust or build a relationship with them. At this point, they may look to move their conversation to a different messaging service on which there is less or inferior protection than the site on which they originally started the conversation.

They’ll then begin to talk about how they’ve had success in investing, usually property or cryptocurrency, and will offer to invest the victim’s money.

If successful, the fraudster will sometimes introduce the victim to a crypto-trading platform controlled by the scammer who will encourage them to sign up and deposit money.

Tammy Barnes, Derbyshire Constabulary’s Fraud Protect Officer, said:

“I find this a terrible term for people who have been preyed upon by scammers, and clearly shows how they actually see those they try to befriend.
“Remember, anyone can pretend to be anyone they want online. Be wary of revealing personal information about yourself, and anyone who asks a lot about you but doesn’t reveal much about themselves.”

Whenever you are online, on social media, messaging apps or dating sites, you should never:

  • Allow someone access to your bank account

  • Transfer money on their behalf

  • Take out a loan for them

  • Invest your own money on their behalf or on their advice

  • Provide copies of your personal documents such as passports or driving licences

Tammy added:

“If any of this sounds familiar to you, and you think you may have lost money to a scammer, then please don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed - you are not alone. Contact your bank immediately, and report to us or to Action Fraud so that we can help.”

Although this scam warning is being issued by Derbyshire Constabulary, it is happening throughout the region and beyond. To report it to Action Fraud online visit the Action Fraud website or call 0300 123 2040.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



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