The Delaware Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit has issued a cease and desist order against 23 entities and individuals involved in a popular cryptocurrency scam known as “pig butchering.” The order also freezes the accounts allegedly holding cryptocurrencies belonging to the victims.
Delaware cracks down on the Pig Butchering Crypto Scam
The attorney general of the U.S. state of Delaware, Kathy Jennings, announced Wednesday that the Investor Protection Unit of the state’s Department of Justice (DOJ) 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.’”
Recent alarmingly common crypto-scams involving pig butchering have been discovered. Victims of this type of scam “are groomed over time to make investments using cryptocurrency, only to find that what they thought was a safe investment was a scam,” the Delaware DOJ detailed. “The moniker stems from the scammers’ practice of ‘fattening’ the victims before absconding with their assets (‘butchering’).”
Attorney General Jennings stressed, “When victims lose money through cryptocurrency scams, including the pig butchering scam, it can be difficult to recover those funds,” adding:
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.
According to the announcement, the Investor Protection unit received complaints from citizens of the state. Unknown persons approached them online, urging them to invest cryptocurrency. After generating large returns from their initial investments, the scammers encouraged them to continue investing.
However, the Delaware DOJ warned: “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.”
The Investor Protection Unit, in collaboration with an analytics company, traced cryptocurrency belonging two Delaware residents to various wallets on different crypto exchanges.
The Delaware Justice Department stated that the cease and desist orders prohibit anyone, or any entity affiliated with them, from withdrawing assets or transferring them.
This effectively prevents exchanges that have the wallets to permit parties to move fraudulently acquired crypto. It also freezes accounts that contain assets for the Delaware victims.
Are you familiar with the crypto-pig butchering scam? Please comment below.
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