Dentist falls prey to ‘pig butchering’ scam

He was allegedly cheated of ₹81 lakh on the pretext of high returns from cryptocurrencies

April 06, 2022 07:38 pm | Updated 07:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Representative illustration.

Representative illustration. | Photo Credit: Sreejith R. Kumar

A dentist fell prey to the “pig butchering” scam involving a woman purportedly from Hong Kong who cheated him of ₹81 lakh on the pretext of phenomenal returns on investments in cryptocurrencies.

The modus operandi of those involved in such a scam is to establish contact with potential victims through women via social media platforms or dating apps and, over a period of time, groom them into making investments in fake schemes on the promise of high returns. Several cases related to the scam, said to have started in China in 2016, have been reported in countries like the United States and Singapore.

The Central probe agencies may look into the scam, taking note of the case that was reported at the Kotwali Police Station in Chhattisgarh by the dentist, who says he is a victim of a cryptocurrency fraud. As alleged, a woman from Hong Kong named Anna Li started chatting with him on a social networking website called Vkontatke and later on WhatsApp as well.

Then the accused lured the victim on the pretext of tripling his money by carrying out online registration with a currency and share trading app, opening an account on a cryptocurrency exchange and transferring cryptocurrency through a website, which turned out to be compromised. In due course, the victim invested about ₹81 lakh. When he informed the accused that he wanted to withdraw his month from the account, he was told that he would have to pay tax on withdrawal of foreign exchange.

The victim paid the money, but he could not withdraw it. He was then asked to send 5% of the entire deposit amount to complete the process. The victim then realised that he was being cheated. When he refused to pay more money, all the funds were withdrawn by the accused, who controlled the account.

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