All for Love: a Teacher Lost $555,000 In a Crypto Scam

All for Love: a Teacher Lost $555,000 In a Crypto Scam

By SimpleSwap | SimpleSwap Blog | 27 Nov 2023


Fraudulent money operations, scams, and extortion are not new phenomena in the traditional world. Police stations around the world are regularly filled with fresh stories about scammers who gain trust and then disappear with voluntarily given money from their victims. 

Over the past 10 years, the Crypto World has evolved to such an extent that similar cases are now emerging there as well. In the blockchain, one should be wary not only of hackers but also of "neo-classical" scammers who have learned to extort Bitcoin (BTC) from naive citizens instead of dollars.

Love, crypto, and 4 million yuan

The story of a 38-year-old Shanghai teacher already resembles a movie script. It began quite ordinary.

The woman met a young and promising businessman online in 2022. The guy convinced her of his love and, in addition to proposing marriage, made another offer — to invest in a large crypto project. The teacher immediately agreed to all the swindler's proposals.

The plot then unfolded somewhat predictably. The woman mortgaged her own apartment, took out loans from the bank, and gradually transferred all her funds to the guy's account. He promised that the Bitcoin project into which he would invest this money would enrich their future family. In total, it turned out that the woman spent 4 million yuan (about $555,000) on her illusions.

The police became interested in the unusual activity in the victim's bank account. In four months, the teacher managed to transfer a big amount to the scammer's account, and law enforcement representatives suspected foul play. This is where the most interesting part unfolds.

All for love

The police attempted to warn the woman about the danger 12 times. Conversations were held, interrogations conducted, but the woman was in love, so she refused to believe in the truth. She has invested so much money and emotion in it, she would rather believe the police were scammers.

It is also reported that the woman was not afraid to boldly lie to the officers to conceal the true amount of transfers and, apparently, to protect her lover. It was the inconsistencies in her words that led the police to launch a serious investigation.  During the ninth meeting with the police, the woman accused the police of "excessive pressure" on her and claimed that it overshadowed even the fact that she was being deceived.

Resolution

The only person who could persuade the trusting woman was another woman, who also turned out to be avictim of the same scammer. The second victim wrote a message to our main heroine on social media, warning her about the connection with the scammer. Only after this did the teacher begin to doubt her lover.

The message from the "rival" had such a strong impact on the unfortunate woman that she decided to call the police herself. It was the final, twelfth meeting with the officers, during which the victim, though crying, still did not want to fully accept the bitter truth. "He will marry me!" the woman asserted.

The "pig butchering" scams

Romantic fraudulent schemes have been known in the crypto world since 2018. It was during that period that the highest number of complaints about scams of this format was noticed.

One of the most popular tactics among crypto scammers bears the gruesome name "pig butchering" or "shazhupan" in Chinese. It involves the perpetrator registering on social networks and dating sites, falsifying a profile, getting acquainted with a potentially vulnerable woman, and extracting money from her, pretending to invest in crypto projects. In many countries, this scheme is already referred to as a "classic romantic crime."

"Pig butchering" refers to fattening the victim before slaughter. In these cases, scammers "feed" the women in love with promises of a rich life together, boundless love, and inevitable marriage. The "slaughtering of the prey" occurs when the unfortunate ones are suddenly left without money and without lovers.

The scale of the problem

Chinese authorities have been grappling with online fraud and cryptocurrency scams for several years. Among the most prevalent schemes identified from 2018 to 2022 are:

  • Romantic scenarios
  • "Pig butchering"
  • Impersonation of customer support or influential figures in the crypto business to coerce victims into giving money under the pressure of authority

Various hacking attacks, breaches, and account freezes have not proven to be as widespread as the aforementioned scenarios.

The police are sounding the alarm and urging citizens to take a more responsible approach to handling their own finances, advising against transferring money to unfamiliar individuals on unclear platforms and wallets. Ideally, they recommend not succumbing to the charms of online "romantics."

It is worth noting that victims of such criminals often include educated individuals. For example, one of the victims was a university professor.  In the end, the sad situation with the trusting teacher from Shanghai once again emphasizes the need to observe security measures when dealing with money, transfers, and investments.

If you want to learn more interesting facts about crypto then check out our blog! You might like our articles “Address Poisoning Attacks: What You Need to Know” and “How to Protect Yourself in the Metaverse”.

The easiest way to buy, sell or exchange coins is to use SimpleSwap services.
SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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