Thai Govt Retiree Loses $570K to Bogus News Anchor in Crypto Pig Butchering Scam
A retired Thailand government employee has found out the hard way not to trust everyone you meet online. The latest crypto pig butchering scam lured him into buying and transferring digital assets, causing him to lose a small fortune.
On August 29, the Bangkok Post reported that the 66-year-old government retiree lost about 20 million baht (~$568,500) in just two months.
Crypto Pig Butchering Scam by Bogus News Anchor
The report added that the scammer used a bogus Facebook profile to impersonate a news anchor online to lure the victim into buying cryptocurrencies.
A complaint was filed to Thailand’s Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau on Aug. 28, by the victim and the real news anchor, Orakan Jivakiet.
According to the unnamed victim, the scammer “chatted him up,” becoming close to him before inviting him to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Over two months, he transferred almost 20 million THB to the scammer in 33 transactions from about 10 bank accounts. The penny dropped when he realized he couldn’t withdraw 10,000 THB (around $284) from the investments.
Bad actors connect with victims through dating apps or social media in a scam known as pig butchering. They build an emotional bond and gain their trust. The scammers then recommend crypto investments promising huge returns after funds are deposited.
The pig butchering name refers to the scammers “fattening up” the victim. Over a period of time, they emotionally manipulate them before ultimately swindling them out of their money.
On August 25, local media reported an increase in crypto pig butchering scams in the Spokane, Washington area of the US. It advised extra vigilance when dabbling in dating apps and social media with strangers talking about crypto.
Thailand Social Media Scams
Moreover, Facebook scams are a big problem in Thailand. 75% of its population, or around 52 million people, are on the social media platform.
Scams and fake ads on Facebook have proliferated significantly in Thailand. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that the government has threatened to ban the platform.
Nevertheless, Thailand has remained open to cryptocurrency trading, though its central bank remains skeptical.
There is hope that the newly appointed prime minister will look upon the crypto industry more favorably than the outgoing military regime, which has ruled for the past decade.