- Explained: What is pig butchering scam, how to stay protected and more
TIMESOFINDIA.COM / Nov 16, 2023, 15:57 IST
Zerodha CEO, Nithin Kamath, has expressed concern over the rising number of people falling victim to the pig butchering online scam, also known as the romance scam. This investment fraud takes advantage of individuals’ emotional vulnerability, with scammers building trust and introducing investment opportunities promising high returns with little risk. Once victims invest a substantial amount, the scammers disappear, leaving them with no recourse. To stay protected, people are advised to be cautious of unsolicited online contact, avoid rushing into financial decisions, and never share financial information with strangers.
Zerodha founder and CEO, Nithin Kamath expressed concern about the alarming number of individuals falling prey to pig butchering online scam. Also, known as the romance scam, is a type of investment fraud that takes advantage of people’s emotional vulnerability. Once the scammers have gained their victims’ trust, they will introduce them to investment opportunities that promise high returns with little risk.
These investments may be in cryptocurrency, stocks, or other financial products. Here’s everything you need to know about this new online scam.
What is pig butchering scam
The pig butchering scam is a form of online fraud that preys on victims through emotional manipulation and deceptive investment schemes. Perpetrators commonly fabricate fake social media or online dating profiles, assuming false identities such as successful professionals or potential romantic partners, to establish connections with unsuspecting victims.
How the scam works
- Building trust: Fraudsters invest time in acquainting themselves with their targets, cultivating trust and rapport. They might share personal anecdotes, provide words of encouragement, and simulate affectionate gestures to further deceive their victims.
- Introducing investment opportunities: After gaining the victim’s trust, the scammers will present them with investment opportunities that guarantee substantial returns with minimal risk. These investment options could involve cryptocurrency, stocks, or other financial products.
- Encouraging initial investments: The fraudsters will urge the victim to initiate modest initial investments, often resulting in apparent success and profit generation. This success aims to strengthen the victim’s confidence in the credibility of the investment.
- Increasing pressure to invest more: As the victim becomes more involved, the scammers intensify the pressure to inject additional funds. They might entice with incentives like bonus returns or exclusive access to purported lucrative investment opportunities.
- Cutting off communication and disappearing with the money: After the victim has committed a substantial sum of money, the scammers abruptly sever communication and vanish with the funds. This leaves the victim with limited or no avenues for recourse.
Tips to stay protected
- Be wary of unsolicited online contact: If you are contacted by someone you don’t know online, be cautious. Scammers often use fake profiles to connect with potential victims.
- Don’t rush into financial decisions: Never make a financial decision based on emotional pressure or promises of high returns. Take your time to research any investment opportunity thoroughly.
- Never share financial information with strangers: Never share your bank account details, credit card information, or other financial information with someone you don’t know and trust.
- Report suspicious activity: If you suspect you are being targeted by a pig butchering scam, report it to the authorities immediately.
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