How a human trafficking victim was forced to target Canadians in a crypto investment scam

In this blog post, I will share the story of John, a Malaysian man who became a victim of human trafficking and was forced to scam Canadians and other Westerners with cryptocurrency investments. This is based on an exclusive interview he gave to CBC’s Marketplace, as well as other news sources that reported on his ordeal.

What is the pig-butchering scam?

The pig-butchering scam is a type of cryptocurrency fraud that targets unsuspecting people online. The scammer pretends to be interested in a romantic or friendly relationship with the victim, and then convinces them to invest in cryptocurrency on a fake platform. The victim sees their money grow on the platform, but they are unable to withdraw it. The scammer then asks for more money or personal information, such as bank account details or passwords, to help them access their funds. The victim is the “pig” that is being fattened and butchered by the scammer.

How did John get involved in the scam?

John was looking for a job after being laid off from his casino job in Cambodia due to the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. He saw an online ad for a customer service job with another casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, and applied for it. He was offered the job and flown to Cambodia with all expenses paid. He thought he had found a good opportunity, but he was wrong.

When he arrived in Sihanoukville, he was locked into a unit on the fourth floor of a compound and had his passport confiscated. He was told that he had to work for a company that ran cryptocurrency investment platforms. He was given a phone and a script, and instructed to contact strangers on social media and dating apps. He had to use fake names and photos, and pretend to be interested in them. He had to persuade them to invest in cryptocurrency on the platforms that his company controlled. He had to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, without any breaks or contact with the outside world.

He said he was forced to target Canadians and other English-speaking Westerners because they were more likely to trust him and have money to invest. He said he felt guilty and sorry for the people he scammed, but he had no choice. He said he was threatened with violence and torture if he did not follow the rules or meet the quotas. He said he saw other captives being beaten or electrocuted for failing to perform.

How did John escape from the scam compound?

John said he managed to escape from the compound after four months of captivity. He said he took advantage of a power outage that disabled the security cameras and locks. He said he ran out of the building and hailed a taxi. He said he went to the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh, where he received help and protection. He said he was lucky to get out alive, but he feared for his safety and the safety of his family. He said he wanted to expose the scam and warn others not to fall for it.

What can you do to protect yourself from crypto scams?

Cryptocurrency scams are becoming more common and sophisticated, especially as more people are interested in investing in digital currencies. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of crypto fraud:

– Do your research before investing in any cryptocurrency or platform. Check the reputation and legitimacy of the company, the website, and the app. Look for reviews, ratings, testimonials, and complaints from other users.

– Be wary of unsolicited offers or requests from strangers online. Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone you do not know or trust. Do not click on any links or attachments that may contain malware or phishing attempts.

– Be skeptical of promises or guarantees of high returns or low risks. Remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch or easy money. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

– Be careful of emotional manipulation or pressure tactics. Do not let anyone rush you into making a decision or investment that you are not comfortable with. Do not let anyone guilt-trip you or blackmail you into giving them money or information.

– Seek professional advice before investing in cryptocurrency. Consult with a licensed financial advisor, accountant, or lawyer who can help you understand the risks and benefits of crypto investments. Do not rely on advice from strangers or self-proclaimed experts online.

I hope this blog post has been informative and helpful for you. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

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