The New Jersey Department of Securities has ordered three website operators to stop luring romance-seeking victims into fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes.
The three companies that received the cease and desist order were Meta Capitals Limited, Cresttradefining Limited and Forex Market Trade. according to In a Feb. 3 press release from New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
All three companies claim to be cryptocurrency trading platforms and attempt to trick victims into copying the trades of “professional traders” to make big profits.
These companies lure victims by reaching out to romance seekers on dating apps like Tinder in a method known as the “slaughter of pigs” scam.
Online scammers are taking advantage of investors in a new scam known as “pig slaughter,” where victims are “fattened” before the scammers give it their all. Today’s cease and desist order protects NJ from cryptocurrency fraud. https://t.co/Q6xX5l4Ohk
— Attorney General Matt Platkin (@NewJerseyOAG) February 3, 2023
“Slaughter of pigs” is a scam in which cybercriminals use social media to contact victims, incite romantic relationships, and, after gaining their trust, lure them into fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes.
Platkin said he is working hard to prevent New Jersey residents from getting caught in investment fraud.
“These scammers build camaraderie with their victims, all to squeeze as much money out of these people as possible, promising huge returns on their investments.”
“We are working around the clock to protect victims of this type of scam and show these scammers that our laws also apply in cyberspace,” Platkin said. added.
The Department of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Kari Faith also hopes the enforcement action will reveal “going after scammers who prey on people’s trust.”
The crackdown comes when the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports nearly 4,300 victims who lost a total of $429 million in 2021 to butcher scams alone. Statistics for 2022 have not yet been released.
Securities Commissioner Amy Kopleton suggests that the butcher scam works well for scammers.
“Even the smartest investor can have a hard time noticing a scam if it’s being done by someone you have a romantic interest in.”
Related: Navigating the Crypto World: Tips to Avoid Scams
The suspended companies were also found to have violated New Jersey securities laws by offering and selling unregistered securities, the agency said.
In addition, Meta Capitals Limited and Cresttradefining Limited were also found to be operating as unregistered broker-dealers.
Butcher scams are not unique to the United States.
A recent survey conducted by the UK Investigative Journalism Service on 29 January found that of the 168 foreign exchange firms deemed to be involved in fraud, about half were involved in scams similar to pig slaughter. It turned out that