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DOJ Seizes $112M in Crypto and Other Assets in Pig Butchering Scam Crackdown

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • The United States Department of Justice has seized $112 million in crypto assets linked to pig butchering scams.
  • The DoJ had previously taken action against seven pig butchering crypto scam sites.
  • Authorities are taking note of crypto scams and potential ways to deal with them.
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The United States Department of Justice seized $112 million in crypto linked to six accounts involved in pig butchering scams. These scams are on the rise, and authorities have taken note.

The United States Department of Justice has revealed that it has taken another sizable step forward when it comes to crypto scams—this time relating to pig butchering scams. This infamous means of exploiting victims has become popular over the years, resulting in millions stolen.

Pig Butchering Scams on the Rise

The DoJ stated that it had seized $112 million in crypto from a crackdown on this particular style of scam. The press release states that there were six crypto asset accounts involved. The affidavit in support of a seizure warrant reads,

“The victims in Pig Butchering schemes are referred to as ‘pigs’ by the scammers because the scammers will use elaborate storylines to ‘fatten up’ victims into believing they are in a romantic or otherwise close personal relationship. Once the victim places enough trust in the scammer, the scammer brings the victim into a cryptocurrency investment scheme.”

Pig butchering scams win the confidence of victims over a long period, with the scammer carefully establishing an air of legitimacy. The FBI has also noted that pig butchering scams are on the rise. The DOJ had previously seized seven crypto scam sites that used the pig butchering vector.

The latest seizure is a sign that bad actors continue to use this means to exploit hapless victims. In one of the accounts, at least ten victims were linked to the matter. The last transfer relating to this account took place on March 21.

One Account Had More Than Half of Seized Funds

The six accounts related to the seizure took place in such locations as Los Angeles, the District of Arizona, and the District of Idaho. More than half of the funds came from the Los Angeles account, which had about $66.4 million.

Authorities have vowed to crack down on crypto crime as the issue becomes more apparent and gains the attention of lawmakers. Pig butchering is only one such crime, and individuals have to keep a watchful eye as bad actors grow increasingly sophisticated.

Crypto Scams Continue To Plague the Market

To offer a better perspective, the number of crypto hacks has jumped by 192% Year-over-Year, according to a report by ImmuneFi. Sectors like DeFi and NFTs are the biggest targets simply because of the amount of money flowing into these niches.

The issue has reached the point where the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has launched a cryptocurrency scam tracker to help residents “spot and avoid crypto scams.” This database will help consumers learn more about how scams operate.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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