Pig Butchering Scam Steals $500 Million

The latest dark web scam features the CryptosLabs hackers which was a previously unknown fake investment entity. According to cyber security analysts, these threat actors have been around since 2018, and have, so far, swindled over $500 million from unsuspecting clients. The victims linked to the targeted scam are from Luxembourg, France, and Belgium.

The cyber-intelligence provided by Group-IB revealed that the CryptosLabs organization shows to be a well-organized crime syndicate with members tiered in groups of leaders, virtual call center assistants, sales agents, and even developers.

Some of the businesses that are linked to this hacking group are duplicated fake websites of 40 renowned European companies that deal in banking services, assets management, fin-tech, NFT, and cryptocurrency investments.

The criminal activities linked to these threat actors highlighted that with the use of its network of developed scam websites; the group owns 300 malicious domains that are hosted on 70 different servers.

Pigs get slaughtered

Group-IB researchers noted that the CryptosLabs network of hackers’ modus operandi features the scam popularly dubbed “pig butchering”. The scam works by tricking investors into a false sense of thinking they’re earning large profits on their investments. However, by being able to prolong the fraud, the scammers are the only ones reaping financial gains.

Analytical data furnished by the Group-IB analysts shows that the CryptosLabs investment scam targets mostly French-speaking internet users. The hackers utilize Google Adverts, and social media platforms to lure victims to their fake investment websites.

The malicious advertisement promotes risk-free investment opportunities with substantially high returns.

Next, interested individuals who click on the ads are sent to a fake website landing page controlled by the threat actors. Once a victim entered their private details, the call center scammers quickly pounced on their next ‘slaughterhouse’ victim.

How to prevent investment scams

Victims of most Internet scams involving cryptocurrency or other investment-type theft are usually tricked into high returns, no risk, and very low investment amounts. However, to protect yourself from being a victim of investment scams, you must avoid investing with only online-based companies.  

To start your investment journey, the best way is to invest safely by visiting a renowned brick-and-mortar facility where you can meet face-to-face with the person who will be handling your portfolio.

Also, always check for reviews about the company or website, so that you can make an educated choice. Many positive reviews on Trustpilot and Google can help you to determine if that company is the real deal or just another fraudulent investment scam.

And remember that, if it sounds too good to be true – Chances are you’re about to be the next victim of scammers and hackers from the dark web.

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