Investor Protection Unit grills “pig butchering” scammers














Investor Protection Unit grills “pig butchering” scammers – State of Delaware News

























News | Date Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Order freezes accounts containing fraudulently-obtained crypto

The Delaware Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against 23 entities and individuals involved in a cryptocurrency scam known as the “pig butchering scam,” Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Wednesday. A twist on the typical romance scam, victims of pig butchering scams are groomed over time to make investments using cryptocurrency, only to find that what they thought was a safe investment was a scam. The moniker stems from the scammers’ practice of “fattening” the victims before absconding with their assets (“butchering”).

“Protecting investors from online scammers is extremely important,” said Attorney General Jennings. “When victims lose money through cryptocurrency scams, including the pig butchering scam, it can be difficult to recover those funds. Today’s order takes a first step toward protecting Delaware investors from the pig butchering scam by freezing funds at risk from further transfer by the wrongdoers.”

Delaware’s Investor Protection Unit received complaints from Delawareans who were contacted online by unknown persons who urged them to purchase cryptocurrency for investments. After purchasing some crypto and seeing large returns on their initial investments, the victims were encouraged to invest more.  Ultimately, they were never able to withdraw the funds and their cryptocurrency disappeared.  It is estimated that this international scam involves thousands of victims across the country with losses into the billions of dollars.

Working with a data analytics company, the Unit traced cryptocurrency belonging to two Delaware complainants to a number virtual wallets on various crypto exchanges. The Order prohibits the persons and entities affiliated with the wallets from withdrawing or otherwise moving assets owned by the complainants. This, in turn, prevents the exchanges holding the wallets from permitting parties to move the fraudulently-obtained crypto, thus effectively freezing the accounts holding assets belonging to the Delaware victims.

The Investor Protection Unit offers the following tips for investors:

  1. Be wary of someone you don’t know contacting you through any virtual platform looking to engage in frequent conversations.
  2. Don’t get drawn into online conversations with unknown people who claim to have made a lot of money in cryptocurrency.
  3. Remember that there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Deputy Attorney General Lindsay Nasshorn and Investor Protection Director Jillian Lazar are leading this matter for the DOJ, with support from Deputy Attorneys General Victor Clark and Joey Tabler and Paralegal Harvey Thomas.

If you believe you are a victim of the pig butchering scam or other cryptocurrency investment scam, please file a complaint with the Investor Protection Unit, available at de.gov/investorcomplaint.

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News | Date Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Order freezes accounts containing fraudulently-obtained crypto

The Delaware Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against 23 entities and individuals involved in a cryptocurrency scam known as the “pig butchering scam,” Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Wednesday. A twist on the typical romance scam, victims of pig butchering scams are groomed over time to make investments using cryptocurrency, only to find that what they thought was a safe investment was a scam. The moniker stems from the scammers’ practice of “fattening” the victims before absconding with their assets (“butchering”).

“Protecting investors from online scammers is extremely important,” said Attorney General Jennings. “When victims lose money through cryptocurrency scams, including the pig butchering scam, it can be difficult to recover those funds. Today’s order takes a first step toward protecting Delaware investors from the pig butchering scam by freezing funds at risk from further transfer by the wrongdoers.”

Delaware’s Investor Protection Unit received complaints from Delawareans who were contacted online by unknown persons who urged them to purchase cryptocurrency for investments. After purchasing some crypto and seeing large returns on their initial investments, the victims were encouraged to invest more.  Ultimately, they were never able to withdraw the funds and their cryptocurrency disappeared.  It is estimated that this international scam involves thousands of victims across the country with losses into the billions of dollars.

Working with a data analytics company, the Unit traced cryptocurrency belonging to two Delaware complainants to a number virtual wallets on various crypto exchanges. The Order prohibits the persons and entities affiliated with the wallets from withdrawing or otherwise moving assets owned by the complainants. This, in turn, prevents the exchanges holding the wallets from permitting parties to move the fraudulently-obtained crypto, thus effectively freezing the accounts holding assets belonging to the Delaware victims.

The Investor Protection Unit offers the following tips for investors:

  1. Be wary of someone you don’t know contacting you through any virtual platform looking to engage in frequent conversations.
  2. Don’t get drawn into online conversations with unknown people who claim to have made a lot of money in cryptocurrency.
  3. Remember that there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Deputy Attorney General Lindsay Nasshorn and Investor Protection Director Jillian Lazar are leading this matter for the DOJ, with support from Deputy Attorneys General Victor Clark and Joey Tabler and Paralegal Harvey Thomas.

If you believe you are a victim of the pig butchering scam or other cryptocurrency investment scam, please file a complaint with the Investor Protection Unit, available at de.gov/investorcomplaint.

image_printPrint

Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.