“Pig Butchering” Romance/Investment Scams – Overview

Sha Zhu Pan 殺主盤

A SCARS Insight

Sha Zhu Pan 殺主盤 – The New Trend Sweeping The Globe

Online ‘Pig Butchering’ Love Scams Have Gone Global After Getting Their Start In China

Portions from the South China Morning Post

The scam involves building a relationship, often romantic, with a victim before convincing them to make a fraudulent investment. TheVictims are often well-educated women and the amount of money stolen tends to be significant.

A scamming strategy called “Pig Butchering” that started in China is spreading beyond both border and language, transforming into a global fraud racket.

The primary victims of the scheme outside China are Chinese nationals or ethnically Chinese people living in Southeast Asia. But more than a third of the duped people were non-Chinese people in North America and Asia, showing how the demographic targeted is rapidly expanding.

Called “SHA ZHU PAN” 殺主盤 in Chinese, or “Pig Butchering” in English

The scam involves the perpetrator building a relationship, often romantic but not always, with the victim over months, akin to fattening the pig, before convincing them to invest money into a fake venture, slaughtering the animal.

NOTE: The Africans and Latin Americans (especially based in Brazil) have started to pick up this approach too!

The losses were often significant, averaging US$98,000 based on 240 victims surveyed by the Global Anti-Scam Organisation. About 70 percent of the victims were women according to many sources.

Unlike traditional romance scams, most of those who fell for “pig-butchering” scams were people in their 20s and 30s who have a decent education, with nearly 90 percent of them holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The immense scale, professional training, and organized operation behind each scam are astonishingly sophisticated.

The most successful perpetrators are irresistible online conversationalists who are incredibly well-versed about life and finances in the cities and countries they target. The scam left about a third of the victims in debt, and over 40 percent lost more than half of their net worth.

These scams started becoming common in North America in late 2020.

Far too often these scams destroy the lives of people who had bright futures at the prime of their careers – draining bank accounts, breaking families, straining marriages, derailing life goals, and triggering suicides.

Pig butchering was first reported in China in the early 2010s, but it spread like wildfire after 2018 because Chinese scammers took advantage of ethnically Chinese people interested in the gambling industry in Southeast Asia.

As with all relationship scams, it comes down to some simple precautions:

  1. Never assume anyone online is trustworthy. Verify everything.
  2. Never let money enter into any online relationship. Even if it is as simple as an investment recommendation, or they have an emergency, never use your own money for anything related to it.
  3. Do not let online relationships stay online – make sure there is a real person by having THEM come to visit you. Always keep the home-field advantage for your safety.
  4. Always talk about who you meet and are talking to with your friends and family so you have more objective guidance on what can quickly become too intense for good decision-making.
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