Delaware DOJ Freezes Wallets, Accounts in 'Pig Butchering' Crypto Scams

A total of 23 entities, including wallets, accounts and individuals, were traced in this version of a common crypto romance scam.

AccessTimeIconSep 29, 2022 at 12:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2022 at 2:28 p.m. UTC

Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

Delaware law enforcement authorities have frozen accounts belonging to individuals involved in “pig butchering” scams, a version of an increasingly common crypto romance scam in which swindlers lure unsuspecting investors to send them their crypto holdings.

In a press release Wednesday, the state’s department of justice said the agency had issued a cease-and-desist order to 23 entities, including wallets, accounts and individuals.

The announcement is part of a wider Delaware DOJ initiative to halt “pig butchering” crypto scams.

The agency urged investors to tread cautiously in online conversations about cryptocurrency transactions.

Crypto romance scams have been around for several years. They involve bad actors conversing with strangers online and instructing them to invest in crypto before siphoning off their funds. “Pig butchering” scams operate along similar principles with scammers convincing consumers to invest small amounts in crypto over time before siphoning these assets – fattening the pig before butchering it.

According to blockchain investigation agency Cipherblade, “billions” of dollars were stolen in these kinds of scams in 2021.

“Today’s order takes a first step toward protecting Delaware investors from the pig butchering scam by freezing funds at risk from further transfer by the wrongdoers,” Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in the press release.

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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.