Intelligence Bulletin: Cambodian Crypto-Romance Scam Targets Alaskans
Alaska Investigations Group has received information from confidential sources in Alaska that romance scammers from Cambodia have been attempting to make contact to finesse and fleece them.
A tactic known as ‘Pig Butchering’ (which is the primary technique used by scammers from Cambodia) seems to be their primary technique. This strategy is part of a long term project which involves finessing long term relationships with their targets to eventually fleece them of their cash via Crypto investing while communicating exclusively in Telegram.
Pig Butchering is absolutely brutal and heartbreaking. One man lost 1 million from this very scam.
What Alaska Investigations Group has learned is truly saddening: These scammers are often not scammers at all. They are slaves held prisoner in Cambodia doing the bidding of the local crime lords (usually Chinese) under the hope that if they finesse and fleece enough targets, that they may one day go free.
These slaves were originally attracted by crime lord online job postings originating from Cambodia, but once these hopeful prospects arrived in Cambodia expecting legitimate work opportunities, the nightmare would begin.
Here is a brief inventory of how contact flowed for one source in Alaska that escaped the pig butchering process.
- Contact was made from a wrong number asking to speak to someone that the person on the receiving end was not familiar with.
- The person making contact said that their dog had died, that they were sad, then asked if it was ok if they could speak with the person on the receiving end of the line because they had nobody to speak with.
- The person then shared detailed information about their fake identity; such as, pictures, websites, jobs, political stances, etc. in an attempt to form a deeper relationship.
- The person then attempted to share intimate details about themselves in hopes to form an intimate bond with the new stranger on the receiving end of the phone call.
- The person then shared Crypto knowledge and information and then shared to teach their Crypto knowledge with the person on the receiving end.
- The contact person also asked the person on the receiving end to eventually direct their communications in Telegram. The contact person also said that they do not do Instagram, Facebook or any major forms of social media.
Fortunately for the source, they bailed once they had had been funneled into Telegram and was asked to download a Crypto app. The source also had an IP tracker within their blog (that they shared with the scammer) which traced to Cambodia, not New York, as the scammer had originally said they had lived. No money was lost for this person; however, there are many others who have fallen to these tactics have been wealthy professionals from a wide variety of industries. Many of which would make your jaw land in your lap in shock.
There is a way to report these tactics. The best route to report these tactics is through the IC3 Internet Crime Division of the FBI.
If you are currently conversing with someone, and they want you to speak exclusively in Telegram and they want you to download a Crypto app, you need to abandon ship immediately.