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The Pig-Butchering Scam aka Sha Zhu Pan (殺豬盤), Crypto Romance Scam, CryptoRom, Hybrid Investment Rom

What is it? :

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. Targets on dating apps and social media are patiently groomed over weeks to become interested in investing in cryptocurrency, forex, gold, etc. The scammers do not ask for money directly, but instead introduce victims to a sham investment website or app where victims feel safe depositing funds. Conspiring with "customer service", the scammers cajole and bully victims into remitting increasingly large amounts of money using a series of psychological techniques and ruses on the website/app they control.

5 main types of The Pig Butchering Scams :

1. Fake Investment Websites and Apps

2. Fake brokers on MetaTrader 4 and 5

4. Group Investment

5. Gambling

The Common way of Operating this scam :

1. Develop long-term relationships with targets on dating apps and social media.

2. Accompany targets a sham online investment platform --a website, a phone app, or increasingly now, a decentralized app. The sham platform has a live customer service chat.

3. Come up with various scenarios to make victims deposit more and more funds into the sham platform. The relationship scammer, supposedly also invested together with the victim, pressures him/her to keep up, often lending money to the victim's fake account inside the sham platform.

4. The relationship scammer, the customer service, and the website disappear once the victims realize that they cannot withdraw anymore, no matter how much fees they paid.

Stages of the Pig-Killing Scam :


- Presents themselves as attractive individuals of Asian descent

- Claims to be a wealthy and successful business owner/investor

- Engages in cryptocurrency, forex, or gold investments as a hobby or part-time job

- Shares numerous selfies, food pictures, and location photos generously

- Seeks a serious relationship

- Proficient in Chinese, but their English might be limited

- Resides in Chinatown, your country, or abroad

- Enjoys discussing market movements and sends candlestick chart screenshots or math formulas

- Promises to meet in the future but is currently too busy

- Avoids video chats due to past traumatic experiences


- Greets you regularly in the morning and at night

- Expresses love and affection within 1-2 weeks, using endearing terms like wife, baby, etc.

- Openly discusses their finances, which are portrayed as much larger than yours

- Frequently talks about fate and opportunities

- Encourages you to dream big and aspire together

- Suggests exchanging intimate pictures

- Invites you to use a new third-party investment website or app, or join a broker on MT4 / MT5

- Offers customer service through third-party websites or WhatsApp, with 24/7 responsiveness

- May offer to lend you money, a demo account, or their account for testing

- Guides you on buying crypto from a legitimate exchange

- Teaches you how to trade and sets schedules for your trades

- Initially allows you to earn and withdraw profits after depositing real money, potentially up to $10,000

- Encourages you to invite friends and family to join this opportunity


- Presents limited-time bonuses or special packages, requiring a high minimum deposit

- Offers to "loan" you money within the platform to meet the deposit requirement

- After reaching a certain deposit amount (e.g., $5,000 - $10,000), withdrawal becomes impossible, citing additional verification fees and taxes

- Sudden and significant losses may occur

- When you raise concerns, they may manipulate, blame, or shame you, or question your commitment to them

- Claims their own investments are also stuck but assures you that the platform will allow withdrawals after paying certain fees

- May pressure you to borrow money from family/friends, sell assets, or take loans under the pretext of home improvement, not investment

- Threatens to expose sensitive pictures you've shared if you refuse to comply


- Claims you owe more money, such as withdrawal fees, tax fees, security fees, etc.

- Demands repayment of the money they "loaned" you within the platform

- Denies being a scammer and may even accuse you of being the scammer

- Blocks you, and the platform locks you out of your account

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may be a victim. Feel free to seek support by reaching out to us via email at, or call us at 1 917-426-5068.

To report any cases of Internet Scams, Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online at

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