Beware: Tourists Tricked into Slavery Through Fake Jobs at Pig Butchering Sites, Warns FBI

Beware: Tourists Tricked into Slavery Through Fake Jobs at Pig Butchering Sites, Warns FBI


The FBI warns travelers to Southeast Asia about cryptocurrency fraud compounds disguised as too-good-to-be-true job listings, where travelers are coerced into investment fraud schemes through the threat of violence and passport confiscation, and offers tips for protection.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has announced a stark warning for people traveling to Southeast Asia: Be wary of too-good-to-be-true job listings. It  can potentially be a scammer attempting to lure travelers to digital currency fraud compounds.

The public service announcement states criminals target individuals on social media platforms and online employment sites. The scammers offer jobs in areas such as customer service or tech support, then sweeten the deal by promising competitive salaries, attractive bonuses, flexible hours, and free accommodation.

Once on location, travelers are coerced through the threat of violence and passport confiscation to engage in digital currency financing fraud schemes, like pig butchering, reveals the FBI.

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‘Pig butchering’ ​is the nickname given to scams involving criminals setting up a fake profile on social media or a dating application. Once they’ve earned a victim’s trust, or fattened the pig, they convince them to send money for a fake financing opportunity and disappear.

The fake jobs the FBI warned about get even more grim after the scammers have detained a duped tourist. The criminal assigns a “debt” to each victim—calling it travel charges, or room and board—and uses the victim’s debt and fear of local law enforcement to intimidate them into staying.

“Trafficked victims are sometimes sold and transferred betwixt compounds, further adding to their debt,” the FBI stated in its advisory.

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The warning from the United States agency likewise includes a number of traveler tips in order for individuals to guard themselves: Research the company beforehand; enroll in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP); and keep your family and friends up to date constantly.

Fraudulent digital currency schemes are becoming more sophisticated over the years, with California regulatory authorities attempting to stamp out recent use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to dupe investors and snag unsuspecting individuals. 1 such strategy included a fake AI-generated CEO for YouTube.

Cryptocurrency scams have been on the boost in the year. Earlier this year Web 3.0 bug bounty project Immunefi informed that the number of hacks and scams in the cryptocurrency space has been  growing 192 percent in Q1 compared to last year.

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