Lakewood Police Issue Warning About Popular ‘Pig Butcher’ Cryptocurrency Scam

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Contact Denver7 has been reporting cryptocurrency scams for several months, and now a popular one has made its way to Lakewood.

It’s called the “pig butcher scam”. The victim is convinced to hand over his money to an unauthorized crypto investor. The scammer then places the funds in an account that appears to be increasing in value. Then the scammer disappears with a large amount of cryptocurrency.

A 46-year-old man from Cleveland, Ohio, who wanted to remain anonymous, says he lost $750,000 after falling victim to the scam.

“The term pork butcher basically comes from a farmer fattening up the pig before slaughtering it. And in this case, it was the suspect fattening his victim,” said Lakewood Police Public Information Officer John Romero.

Over the past month, the department has had a few people fall victim to the scam. Romero says it’s usually through social media and dating sites like LinkedIn and Tinder.

Lakewood Police posted an alert on their Facebook page reminding people to stay alert.

“I always thought I would never fall for the trap,” said Steve Belcher, who lost $1.6 million in a butcher shop scam.

The Cleveland victim contacted Contact Denver7 when he saw our December story on Belcher.

The Cleveland victim says he talked to his scammer on Tinder for a few months, long enough for them to gain his trust. That’s when the crypto conversations started.

“She told me about the site to sign up for, and that’s what gave me confidence that I was doing everything,” he said.

The victim was able to make a few withdrawals from the crypto account he had created with no problem, but soon after, he could no longer access the money. Then he received a message from the scammer telling him that he had to pay over $204,000 in deposits to gain access to his crypto account, only then realizing he had been scammed.

Lakewood Police say there are several things you can do to prevent this from happening to you.

“It’s one of those things where never spend your money online with someone you don’t know, especially if you’ve never met them in person,” Romero said.

It also insists on never giving out your account information or ID to anyone you don’t know.

“Do your homework, and if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” the Cleveland scam victim said.

Lakewood Police say the reality is that most victims of crypto scams will never see their money again. Either way, you should immediately call the police if you think you are a victim.

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