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'Pig-butchering' tops payment scam threats

'Pig-butchering' tops payment scam threats

Pig-butchering, an investment scam involving fake crypto companies, has emerged as one of the top payment threats facing consumers.

The Spring 2024 edition of Visa's Biannual Threats Report concluded that conusmers face increasingly organised and sophisticated attacks from scammers, thanks to the emergence of generative AI.

The technology is being used to target humans - the most vulnerable component in payment networks, according to Visa.

The report also suggests that scams are becoming more effective given that the number of scams between June and December has decreased but the losses have increased.

In terms of pig-butchering, scammers are targetting consumers via social media during holidays like Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve to lure targets into fake online relationships before enticing them to invest in non-existent crypto companies. 

In addition to pig-butchering, the report also lists inheritance scams, humanitarian aid scams and triangulation scams as the most commonly-used tactics by fraudsters. 

The report also highlights a  number of additional trends including the targetting of supply chains and third party providers as well as a 300% rise in ransomware between June and December.

“With the use of Generative AI and other emerging technologies, scams are more convincing than ever, leading to unprecedented losses for consumers,” said Paul Fabara, chief risk and client services officer, Visa.

"We hope building awareness of these emerging scams will help consumers fight fraud as another line of defense in the battle against fraudsters,” added Fabara.



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