Security News > 2022 > November > U.S. govt seizes domains used in 'pig butchering' scams

U.S. govt seizes domains used in 'pig butchering' scams
2022-11-24 13:12

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice seized seven domains that hosted websites linked to "Pig butchering" scams, where fraudsters trick victims of romance scams into investing in cryptocurrency via fake investment platforms.

While originating from Asia, pig butchering scams have spread globally after cryptocurrency scammers realized that users of dating apps and social media sites make for easy targets after building trust using various social engineering tactics.

As the U.S. Justice Department revealed in a press release this week, the fraud ring that used the seven seized domains tricked five victims into transferring more than $10 million to cryptocurrency deposit addresses immediately emptied by the scammers.

"According to court records, from at least May through August 2022, scammers induced five victims in the United States by using the seven seized domains, which were all spoofed domains of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange," the Department of Justice said.

"After the victims transferred investments into the deposit addresses that the scammers provided through the seven seized domain names, the victims' funds were immediately transferred through numerous private wallets and swapping services in an effort to conceal the source of the funds. In total, the victims lost over $10 million."

The FBI also recently warned about pig butchering scams highlighting its emergence as a highly profitable scheme worldwide where cybercriminals steal ever-increasing amounts of cryptocurrency from unsuspecting investors.

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