Pig Butchering Scams on the Rise: How to Protect Your Customer’s Crypto Assets

June 6, 2023
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With all due apologies to both pigs and butchers… 

Pig butchering, a term originating from a Chinese phrase, refers to a type of fraud whereby scammers build trust with victims over time, and “fatten the hog” so to speak. The perpetrators get victims to invest increasingly large amounts of cryptocurrency, and then disappear with their assets. These scams often involve elaborate schemes, including creating fake social media profiles, business pages, developing relationships with potential victims, and exploiting the nascency of the crypto ecosystem.

Impact on Cryptocurrency Users and Businesses

The growth of pig butchering scams has resulted in significant financial losses for unsuspecting users and damaged the reputation of cryptocurrency platforms. Businesses that fail to address such scams may suffer from reduced user trust, regulatory scrutiny, and potential legal liabilities. Scammers typically begin by infiltrating online communities, posing as legitimate users or influencers. They gradually develop trust with their targets through regular interactions and eventually lure them into sharing sensitive information or investing in fraudulent schemes. Once the scammer obtains access to the victim’s assets, they vanish without a trace. Therefore, it is crucial for crypto financial institutions and social media platforms to implement preventive measures against these scams.

The FBI says ‘Pig Butchering’ is a $3 Billion Dollar Threat

Defending Against Pig Butchering Scams

Pig butchering bitcoin scamsThe best defense is often the best offense. A strong anti-money laundering (AML) program is essential for businesses to comply with regulations designed to detect and prevent financial crimes, including pig butchering scams. A robust AML program can help identify suspicious activities, protect users, and maintain a reputable platform. To do this, businesses should develop specific red flags and alert routines, such as monitoring for sudden increases in account activity, unusual transaction patterns, or connections to known fraudulent accounts or wallet addresses.

Additionally, businesses should understand common tactics used by scammers, such as building trust through social engineering, and regularly update internal processes to account for new scam techniques or typologies, which are constantly evolving. Moreover, training employees to spot the warning signs of pig butchering scams and the importance of reporting suspicious activities can greatly enhance a business’s ability to prevent fraud. It’s also critically important to educate prospective and existing customers as part of a broader strategy to thwart pig butchering and other scams.

Related: Crypto investment scams: what businesses need to know 

Implementing Consumer Protection Safeguards

Protecting users from scams is not only a regulatory obligation but also vital for maintaining trust in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Implementing robust consumer protection measures, such as educating users about the risks of pig butchering scams and providing them with guidance on how to avoid falling victim, can help achieve this goal. This can be done through educational blog posts, emails, or in-app notifications. Offering users clear guidelines on safe practices, such as verifying the identities of people they interact with and never sharing sensitive information, can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to scams. Furthermore, creating an easily accessible reporting system for users to report suspicious activities can help businesses identify and address potential scams more quickly.

In Conclusion

Businesses can combat pig butchering, and other crypto currency scams by implementing AML countermeasures, developing targeted red flags and alert routines, training staff to detect and report potential scams, and implementing consumer protection safeguards. This includes educating users about the risks, providing clear guidelines on safe practices, and encouraging them to report suspicious activities. Businesses should also provide accessible communication channels with users and offer support in the event of a scam, such as assisting them in understanding their options and keeping them informed about steps being taken to address the issue.

Reach out for Resources 

Our team of experts is committed to assisting and supporting businesses in the development and implementation of industry-leading AML programs, customized training solutions, and more secure systems. We provide the guidance and tools necessary to help safeguard against pig butchering and related digital currency scams, and maintain a trustworthy platform for your users. Let us help you ensure compliance with crypto AML regulations, protect your customers, and reinforce the integrity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Contact BitAML today to discover how our tailored solutions can work for your unique needs.

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