Pig butchering sounds like a term that should be used in an abattoir. Guess what? you are right if you feel the same way. It is a tactic or strategy used by con artists to ‘butcher‘ your crypto investment.

This is one of the latest lines of tricks used by scammers to rob people of their hard-earned investment in crypto. Call it a romance scam, you are also not wrong. It is the leading Bitcoin scam in the world today.

The number of romance scams reported to the FTC climbed by nearly 70% from 2020 to 2021, reaching 56,000 cases. Based on FTC data, victims reported losing $547 million to these scams, a 78 percent rise over the prior year.

In this post, we’ll understand what pig butchering is in crypto. For the sake of beginners, let’s know more about crypto scams.

What is Bitcoin Scam?

Scams are present everywhere money is. It is not absent in cryptocurrency too as scammers use different methods and strategies to steal people’s money.

The fact that the digital currency market is exceptionally unpredictable due to its value makes it valuable to scams. Crypto assets promise huge returns on investment (although not certain) which makes it easy for fraudsters to fake them. While certain crypto scams are not difficult to spot, others are more subtle.

According to a study by FTC, 1 billion dollars has been lost in crypto scams since 2021. You need to watch out so as not to be a casualty.

Bitcoin, which is the number one and largest cryptocurrency has some advantages over fiat currencies. This has made many invest/trade BTC for profit making. Many have become millionaires by dealing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Many have however been scammed by con artists in their bid to invest, buy/sell, or hold crypto assets.

Common Bitcoin Scams You Need to Know

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have to do with scammers/fraudsters making use of your devices or wallet to rob you of your hard-earned money. Here, the target could be your personal information, login details to your crypto wallet/account, and so on.

2. Investment Scams

Those who invest early in crypto earned a fortune. The ‘king of crypto‘ also allows earning big returns on investment. Scammers have therefore capitalized on this to rob people. They may tell you the more you invest, the more the returns on investment.

Investment scams could also work like fraudulent business models. You may be persuaded to pay in crypto for the option to select their plan. They may present to you a plan for making more money via referrals.

3. Extortion Scams

Bitcoin scams may come as a form of extortion. Scammers may threaten to humiliate you by compromising data about you. To get out, they’ll tell you to send them a digital money installment.

To make this look real, they may show you something they got from an information break. It is a device to extort you of your digital money.

4. Romance Scams

Some scams are as simple as persuading victims to transfer Bitcoin to strangers they’ve formed a relationship of trust. This can be done to the same sex or opposite sex after building some level of trust with the victims.

What is Pig Butchering?

Pig butchering is a growing scam in the crypto industry today. As the name implies, “pig butchering” refers to how a target is “fattened up” before being “slaughtered.”

It is therefore a type of romance scam where strangers use the strategy of forming a relationship with someone they met online to scam them later.

The trend originated in Southeast Asia and translates to the Chinese word “Shāzhūpán”. The word refers to a farmer fattening up the pig with food before butchering it.

Many have built a relationship (fattened) with people they met online and duped (slaughtered). The FBI has since warned that the scam has grown exponentially this year.

How does Pig Butchering Scam Work?

Many are aware of the other common type of Bitcoin scam and have stayed on guard. Scammers also took another route different from the old methods to scam people.

Social media has made it very easy to connect with people these days. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, WhatsApp, and so on are platforms where you can meet people, chat, and get along as if you stay under the same roof.

Scammers build a trusted relationship with their victims for months making it seem they are genuine. The communication mostly takes the romantic route with frequent messages about ‘taking care of each other. Once the offenders gain the victim’s complete trust, they ask them to invest in Ponzi crypto schemes.

The scheme includes convincing them that investing in cryptos can bring in all the riches. The talks also turn to ‘we can be happy together with the wealth and lead a good future.

The victims then wire the scamsters the money hoping to get rich quickly and lead a romantic yet comfortable life. Once the money is transferred, the scamsters block the victim and make way with the funds.

The FBI made it known that the scheme is named as a result of the way it plays out. Victims are fattened with fake love/care and then butchered at the end when they wipe out their money.

How to Avoid Pig Butchering Scam?

Here are ways to avoid romance scams named ‘pig butchering‘. They are discussed below.

1. Don’t Trust Everyone

You don’t have to trust everyone because you might get scammed in the long run. Keep your details and personal information away from people you seem to trust.

Give every message you receive regarding crypto endeavors the greatest level of alertness. This will help you to avoid fraudsters.

2.. Don’t fall for Investment Hype

Many projects are being launched today which are scams. You need to be careful and don’t fall for projects that promise you heaven and earth when you invest. It is one of the tricks used by con artists.

3. Secure your Crypto Wallet & Devices

You need to secure your crypto wallet. You can do this by storing your information offline. Also use-multi factor authentication. This allows you to fight attackers.

You need to keep security keys safe as well. This will help you to fend off scams.


Pig butchering, a type of romance scam is one of the most popular bitcoin scams today. The fact Because many had earned a fortune while investing or trading bitcoin, people are also getting in the queue to do likewise. Scammers have used the route of forming a good relationship with victims to rob them of their hard-earned money.