The FBI is Warning Texans of a Scam Using Fake Profiles in Dating Apps to Steal Your Money
Scams are a thing we have to protect ourselves from in Tyler, Dallas or Austin, Texas, or all around the state, really, on a daily basis. We have to be careful when we open a web browser. We have to be careful when looking through our email. We have to be careful when answering a phone call or receiving a text message. Scammers are on a constant attack to try and steal our money or our personal information. One such attack can come at you very innocuously through a dating app or other social media platform that turns into a rabbit hole of fake cryptocurrency earnings.
Pig Butchering Cryptocurrency Scam
The "Pig Butchering Cryptocurrency Scam" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning Texans about is where a scammer will reach out to you out of the blue through a dating app or another form of social media and try to get you to invest in cryptocurrency. The scam gets the name because the scammer will feed the would-be victim promises of wealth in the returns on the crypto investment. The scammers may even trick the victim into a pseudo romantic relationship in the process. The scammer will ultimately flee with the victim's money, and a broken heart, with no way to get it back.
How does the Pig Butchering Scam work?
There is a multi step process to how the scam works (firstcallhelp.tamu.edu):
- The would-be victim will receive a message out of the blue through a dating app or other social media.
- The scammer will want to move the conversation away from the social media app to Whatsapp or other text messaging app.
- The scammer will use a script to pretend to be an interested love interest. This could go on for several days up to several weeks.
- After building trust, the scammer will say they made a lot of money recently investing in cryptocurrency and say they can help the victim do the same.
- The scammer will help the victim set up an account through a "cryptocurrency investment company" for the victim to begin depositing money.
- The scammer will assist the victim in selecting various types of investments with the promise of big returns.
- After the victim has made the "investments," the scammers will send a notice that all accounts have been frozen and a fee must be paid to unfreeze the account and get the money back.
- The victim pays the fee only to find that the website has been deleted and all the money that was invested, along with the fee to unfreeze the account, is long gone.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
FBI Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim
- Never send money to someone you can't see or meet in person.
- Don't talk about your financial situation to someone you don't know.
- Do not give out your banking information, Social Security Number, copy of your driver's license or passport or any other personal information to anyone unless you know they are legitimate.
- If you find an online investment site that is promising big returns on your money, this is most likely a fake or scam website.
- Don't believe anyone who claims to have investment opportunities that can promise big returns on your money.
Why We Tell You About These Scams
We do not want you to fall victim to any of these scams. You work hard for your money and want you to be able to save or spend it however you want safely. Always remember the mantra that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
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