iPhone and Android users given warning over 'pig butchering' crypto scam

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A security expert has warned users to be aware of a
A security expert has warned users to be aware of a 'pig butchering' cryptocurrency scam (Image: Getty Images)

A security expert has warned iPhone and Android users to be aware of a 'pig butchering' cryptocurrency scam which is rising in popularity.

The tactic sees a vague greeting such as "Hey" or '"How's it going, James?" sent via text or social media, intending for the recipient to reply saying they have the wrong number.

Once they get a response, the scammer will try to engage in conversation and build up a friendship to gain a sense of trust.

They will then bring in the idea that they have been reeling in lots of money from cryptocurrency investing, and recommends the victim do the same.

iPhone and Android users given warning over 'pig butchering' crypto scam eideeidediqxzinvThe tactic starts with a vague greeting sent via text or social media (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The scammer goes on to create an account for the person on a fake app or internet platform, allowing them to see their supposed market growth.

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To keep them reassured, they can even go to the lengths of letting the target withdraw some money from the account, or offer them video calls.

Once the victim contributes all the money they can, the scammers then close the account.

Sean Gallagher, a senior threat researcher at the security firm Sophos, has been keeping track of pig butchering over the last three years.

He told WIRED : “That’s the whole pig butchering thing - they are going for the whole hog.

iPhone and Android users given warning over 'pig butchering' crypto scamThe scammer goes on to create an account for the person on a fake app or internet platform (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“They go after people who are vulnerable. Some of the victims are people who have had long-term health problems, who are older, people who feel isolated.

"They want to get every last bit of oink, and they are persistent."

It comes as Brits are warned to be on the look out for bank scams in the new year, with fraudsters taking advantage of the cost of living crisis to steal money.

With funds tight, people are more likely to fall for get-rich-quick schemes or be more vulnerable to bogus offers.

Victims are commonly being offered an online "bargain" or being asked for a "favour" - known as a money mule request - when in reality they are getting swindled.

Fake apps are also becoming more popular.

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iPhone and Android users given warning over 'pig butchering' crypto scamBrits are warned to be on the look out for bank scams in the new year (Getty Images)

Which? Money editor Jenny Ross said such skulduggery is "relentless" and has put together a list of what to be on your guard for in 2023.

She said: "Scammers are relentless when it comes to wanting our personal information and ultimately our money.

"And while their tactics will no doubt continue to evolve, we think these scams are the main ones to watch out for.

"Banks will never ask you for personal information, nor will they try to hurry you into making a decision.

"If this happens to you - whether by text, email or over the phone, step back and think about what they're asking.

"If it looks too good to be true, it usually is."

Katie Weston

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