It took just weeks for a single woman to have her life turned upside down after falling for a cruel dating scam dubbed “pig butchering.”
The woman, from Sydney, Australia, matched with a profile on dating app Tinder last month, and after exchanging a seemingly promising conversation, transferred their chat to WhatsApp, Nine reported.
It was there that the man, with whom at this stage she had exchanged hundreds of messages, convinced her to join him in cryptocurrency trading, a hobby he had in addition to his construction job.
A single woman’s life was turned upside down after falling for a cruel dating scam dubbed “pig butchering.” fake images
Before the 44-year-old knew it, she had lost a staggering $100,000 (her entire life savings) and was experiencing “humiliation, a lot of humiliation.”
“Now I realize what an idiot I am. “I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I really did this to myself,” she told the publication.
The “pig butchery” scam, which is inspired by the idea of “fattening up” a victim before slaughter, originated in China and has more recently infiltrated Western countries.
The woman said the profile appeared to belong to a real person because it had a “verified” Tinder tick, and when the chat moved to WhatsApp, the number appeared to be Australian.
In the end, he trusted the profile enough to create an account on the legitimate cryptocurrency exchange site, CoinSpot, where he converted his money into digital currency, Tether.
She was then convinced to trade her currency on the MEXC platform, which is also a legitimate company, but the site it was linked to, as she later discovered, was fake.
She told the publication that it featured all the usual features you’d expect, such as having a customer service department, a rewards chart, and supposed “deals and wins” in your account.
His initial doubts were dispelled when the person showed him how he could deposit a small amount of cash and then withdraw it immediately afterwards.
The woman said the profile appeared to belong to a real person because it had a “verified” Tinder tick, and when the chat moved to WhatsApp, the number appeared to be Australian. Getty Images/iStockphoto
“After that, I just transferred everything — I was adding $10,000, $20,000 [Australian, approximately $6,000 and $13,000 USD]. I kept putting in more,” she told the publication.
Even his supposed date was contributing money to “increase” his profits, he thought, but his suspicions arose when he was ordered to withdraw everything because “the good trading period was over.”
To withdraw his money, he was told he had to pay a $26,000 security deposit to unlock the cash, but when he did, he was told he had to pay double the amount again.
At that point, she had run out of money, so she “cleaned out” her retirement account and ended up asking a friend to lend her $40,000 in what ended up being her biggest regret.
When he asked the person he was dating about the money, they acted just as confused and eventually disappeared completely off the face of the planet.
“We were both struggling because we had been given a three-day deadline… I was desperately trying to get a personal loan. I didn’t make it, thank God.”
After realizing she had been scammed, it wasn’t long before she found the photo used by the scammer through a simple Google search.
Police were unable to help because a trace of the person’s fingerprint revealed they were outside Australia, meaning local authorities had no power to investigate.
Before the 44-year-old knew it, she had lost $157,000 – her entire life savings. Getty Images/iStockphoto
The woman, who said she had been a stickler for the rules her entire life, was now in the process of taking out a larger loan on her mortgage to pay her friend.
Having lost her savings, she said she was grateful she had not lost “everything.”
“I still have my property and I still have my super. But, with $100,000 lost, I won’t be coming back from this for years,” she said.
“It’s been bad on all fronts. “I feel like I lost him, I lost my money and I lost myself a little bit.”