pig butchering scam or legit? Reviews and complaints

What is a Pig Butchering Scam?

A pig butchering scam is a type of confidence trick that has been around for over a century. It involves deceiving someone into giving or lending money under false pretenses and promises that are never fulfilled.

The core deception involves promising the victim some type of future financial gain or reward in exchange for an upfront payment or loan. However, the gain or reward is either non-existent or significantly smaller than promised. The scammer uses persuasion and deception to get the initial cash, but has no real plan or ability to fulfill their end of the arrangement.

History of the Pig Butchering Scam

While scamming practices go back throughout human history, the term “pig butchering scam” originated in the United States in the late 19th century. It derives its name from an original scheme where scam artists would tell naive farmers that they needed money upfront to purchase a pig.

The scammers claimed they would raise and fatten the pig, then split the profits from butchering and selling the meat. Of course, once they got the farmer’s money there was no pig – it was all a fictional story made up to steal cash.

Over time, the core deception evolved but retained the farming metaphor that referenced “butchering a pig.” Variations emerged across different regions and communities in America throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Modern Variations of the Pig Butchering Scam

While the original pig butchering scam invoked rural farming imagery, today’s scams have adapted the basic deception structure to various modern business opportunities and investment schemes. Here are some common variations:

  • Oil/Gold/Mining Scams – Victims are contacted and told of a “sure thing” opportunity to invest in an overseas oil/mining/gold operation for a guaranteed high return. They require an upfront “processing fee” or “insurance payment” but of course, there is no real investment opportunity.

  • Romance Scams – Scammers create fake online profiles to romance victims over months or years. When the victim is sufficiently invested emotionally, they are told of a financial crisis and asked to wire money. Often targeting older, lonely individuals.

  • Lottery/Prize Scams – Victims receive calls or emails stating they have won a lottery or prize, but must first pay various “taxes” or “processing fees” that of course go straight into the scammers’ pockets.

  • Advanced Fee Scams – Similar to the original butchering scam, victims are contacted about business opportunities that just require an upfront payment for materials, permits, etc. But there is no real business – just excuses until the money is gone.

No matter the details, all variations employ deception to obtain cash upfront with no intention of meaningful reciprocation or fulfillment of promises made.

How Pig Butchering Scams Operate

While evolving to incorporate modern twists, the core mechanics of how pig butchering scams operate remain essentially the same:

  • Establishing Trust – Scammers invest significant time to build rapport and trust with victims. This may involve calling repeatedly over weeks or cultivating online relationships.

  • Promising Opportunities – Once trust is gained, victims are pitched lucrative-seeming business or investment opportunities that promise fast, guaranteed profits.

  • Requesting Advances – To exploit the opportunity, scammers claim the victim must provide an upfront payment for insurance, permits, materials, etc. They assure this payment will be reimbursed plus profits.

  • Stalling for Time – Once paid, scammers disappear or make excuses for delays. Any requests for repayment or updates result in further excuses meant to string the victim along.

  • Repeating the Scam – Often scammers recontact old victims with renewed promises to get more cash, or use the same ploy on relatives and friends who hear of the “opportunity.”

The goal is getting money while maintaining just enough contact to prevent the victim from realizing it is a scam until the cash is untraceable and long gone. Patience and deception are key to the scammers’ success in evading detection and Capture.

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

While no one is immune, certain warning signs and best practices can help reduce your chances of falling for a pig butchering scam:

  • Be Skeptical of Promises – If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Legitimate opportunities don’t require payment upfront.

  • Do Your Research – Look up any person or company online before sending money. Search with variation if nothing comes up initially.

  • Don’t Justify or Rationalize – Scammers are experts at gaining trust and making excuses sound reasonable. Don’t feel pressured to act quickly.

  • Verify Requests in Writing – Legitimate transactions don’t conduct major business over phone alone. Get details in writing first.

  • Consult Others – Run opportunities by trustworthy friends or professionals before committing funds to get an objective perspective.

  • Protect Personal Info – Don’t provide sensitive details like full names, DOBs, addresses or financials until verifying an individual or company.

  • Consider Reporting – If you’ve been victimized, report the incident to relevant law enforcement to help warn others and identify scammers.

Staying informed, taking time to verify, and knowing when to say no can go a long way in avoiding financial harm from pig butchering scams and their deceptive variations.

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While pig butchering scams originated over a century ago invoking imagery of rural livestock, the core deception structure has proven highly adaptable. Scammers continue preying on human trust, promises of easy money and a natural desire to believe the best in people.

By understanding the history, common techniques and warning signs, individuals can better identify and avoid becoming victims. For law enforcement, detecting and apprehending international scammers remains an ongoing challenge. But with education and cooperation, communities stand a better chance of limiting the harmful impacts of pig butchering scams both old and new. Check the new Morocco earthquake scam.

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