Raffensperger warns of new cryptocurrency scam


ATLANTA – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has issued an investor alert warning consumers to watch out for a cryptocurrency scam known as “Pig-butchering.”

The scam, which originated in Southeast Asia, involves a predator building the victim’s confidence through casual conversation that leads to the scammer convincing the victim they will help them make money.

“Pig-butchering” refers to the constant feed of information to the victim as the scammer “fattens” the victim with the illusion of opportunities for a great return on their investment.

“Everyday Georgians, especially retirees, are falling victim to unscrupulous con artists miles and miles away,” Raffensperger said Monday. “We are doing everything in our power to protect the hard-earned savings of good, honest people.”

Scam artists are contacting victims through social media, text messages, email and messaging apps, using publicly available data to target their victims. The scammer may pretend to be an old friend, a trusted public figure, colleague, or even a prospective romantic partner.

The conversation may begin slowly to center around investments or cryptocurrency. The scammer’s goal is not to ask for money but coax the victim to invest in a fake trading website or platform that shows a bogus balance with lots of profit.

Allowing the victim to withdraw profits early creates the illusion of a trusted process. Scammers may even “lend” money to facilitate larger trades.

Once the scammer decides to make his or her move, the website will require more money to cover withdrawal fees or taxes. The scammer then runs off with the funds, never to be heard from again.

Consumers who suspect such a scam may be taking place should immediately stop transferring money to the suspected scammer and report the crime to their bank and local law enforcement agency.

For more information, contact the secretary of state’s office at registrations@sos.ga.gov or call 470-312-2640.