Common Tactics Of a Pig Butchering (Romance) Scammer

I want to raise awareness on this Pig Butchering (Romance) scam or Sha Zhu Pan in Chinese. So called because victims are patiently worked on everyday for 1-3 months before scamming them big time, like fattening up a pig before slaughter. Basically, the scammer induces the victim into putting more and more money into a shady investment platform.

They are seriously well-planned operations (latter half of this post) and have really been successful in the Chinese-speaking world, so much so that Sha Zhu Pan has become one of the top Chinese buzzwords in 2019-2020. Victims are scammed on average $50k, and millions have been lost. It’s a huge cottage industry that Chinese police has had a hard time stamping out. There are scores of recent news stories, blogs, video clips, and other media online about Sha Zhu Pan victims and scammers. Sadly, almost all are in Chinese. I think the rest of the world has to wise up to this, because now as most Chinese are becoming aware of this Pig-Butchering Scam, the scammers are turning their skills more towards non-Chinese, more so this year.

This first half is somewhat detailed, because since everyone is generally aware of romance scams, being vague won’t convince someone who is in the thick of it and thinks that his/her online friend is THE exception. Exposing specific details of the Pig Butchering scam is most convincing to current victims that the “spontaneous” events are actually planned.

Common tactics of the Pig Butchering scammer:

1️⃣ Greets you “good morning” and “good night” every day.

2️⃣ Always asks/share pictures of food. Their “home-cooked” food looks restaurant quality.

3️⃣ Are sole owners of beauty salons/restaurants/hospitals/apartments/businesses etc.

4️⃣ Casually talks about spending tens and hundreds of thousands of US dollars like no big deal (makes you feel small).

5️⃣ Typically by 2nd-3rd week of talking everyday brings up an investment/trading website.

6️⃣ Studied finance/accounting, or have uncle/aunt/brother/professor who taught them Forex/Crypto trading.

7️⃣ Talks a lot about fate and destiny.

8️⃣ Asks what are your material goals and dreams, and say you’re not dreaming big enough.

9️⃣ Trade on irregular schedules, based on a day’s “data”/candle stick charts/insider info. Sometimes they say “tomorrow’s data is not good, I’ll just go by myself”, sometimes “today is a go!” (to intrigue you).

1️⃣0️⃣ Laughs at how “small” your investment is.

1️⃣1️⃣ When some event causes huge losses for both you and the guy/girl, he/she suggests you borrow from the website.

1️⃣2️⃣ When you’re compelled by the website to pay some ridiculous amount, the guy/girl offers to “help” you pay half or so. You never see their money though because they pay directly to your “account”.

1️⃣3️⃣ Guilts you, blames you, gaslights you, flip out easily, shames your manhood/adulting skills/commitment to relationship, accuses you of character defects.

1️⃣4️⃣ Always have an excuse for not wanting to meet up or do video chat — bad experience with exes, pandemic, etc. Actually, they really can’t. They’re not where you think they are.

Common elements of shady trading platforms:

1️⃣ Highly responsive “customer service” online or on WhatsApp, available to chat 24/7. They are always so courteous and never break character, no matter how much verbal abuse you dish.

2️⃣ When you’ve put <$10,000, you can take your money and earnings in and out.

3️⃣ Offers large bonuses if you invest 30-100% more by a certain date soon (like “this weekend”).

4️⃣ Once you put in substantial amounts of money, the slaughter: You’ll never be able to take anything out ever again.

5️⃣ To pay back “reserve loans”, “taxes”, “verification fees”, anything, you have to pay from outside; they cannot be deducted from your “account” inside (they never say so beforehand).

6️⃣ Your “account” gets frozen for defaulting on loans, not passing verification, whatever. You have to pay in 7 days before they start deducting 10% everyday from your investment and “earnings”.

7️⃣ One time you send a large payment, they hurriedly tell you that you sent to a “retired” address!!! Later they decide you can make up for it by paying a ‘reduced’ amount.

8️⃣ Even if you pay everything, they’ll keep coming up with reasons to prevent withdrawals. But your investment inside has already doubled! So you can’t give up… and they’ll never run out of excuses.


When I said well-planned operation, everything has been scripted and tailored to your stereotype. Whether you a new college grad who never had a relationship, a lonely urban professional, a midde-aged recently divorced doctor, they have scripts for that. Generally, if you’re a man, the scammer shows lots of sexy pictures and act hot & cold. If you’re a woman, the scammer showers you with corny cliches and sweet nothings. Even the timing of when to call you cute names is planned (~2nd week). They make you think you’re making all the choices and “mistakes”. Maybe you weren’t so greedy for money initially, but they know human psychology.

They’re not some small outfit but a sophisticated corporate operations linked to Chinese triads (mafia) syndicates. They have head offices and branch locations. They have IT/telecom department, finance/money laundering department, and a “sales” department — the biggest in manpower– who do the day-to-day raising of “pigs”. They are salaried, have time-offs and get 10-40% commissions for successful slaughters. They have training manuals and scripts they update every so often. New recruits undergo classes in finance terminologies and ‘brain-washing’. Progress is reviewed daily in team or company meetings. Of course, implementation varies by skill level. Employees are actually treated harshly, and those who don’t make enough get punished.

The Pig Butchering / Sha Zhu Pan industry is thriving so much there are markets for fake dating profiles (~$20 for basic authenticated accounts to ~$100++ for complete package with pictures and social media history). Most pictures are pirated. Hosts are typically late teens to 20s jobless young men from mainland China without college degrees, recruited or misled by “online shopping” firms in Southeast Asia.

1) It doesn’t have to be Asian-looking picture (though their English are awkward translations from Chinese) 2) They add you by “mistake”. 3) They form investing “groups” with many fake members. 4) Your own friend is duped into recruiting you to invest also.

⚠️ Reminder: If you deposited your funds on a platform and they ask you to pay a “fee” or “tax” in order to withdraw your funds do not pay anything! It’s a trick to steal more funds from you.

8 thoughts on “Common Tactics Of a Pig Butchering (Romance) Scammer”

  1. Thats exactly what happens to me !! all what it says in this page. This has to be posted in main Page internet so no more people Faul in this trap.

  2. Hello
    I’m living something similar with what is published here ! I’ve not been scammed..yet, but there are many similarities from begining of the text..the 2 weeks period to say so. In my case I already play on crypto market so it came more from me than it came from her (chinese woman).
    Thank you for youre articol, I’ll be verry carefull regarding this situation and I’ll go with the discussions just to see if it confirms it ! :)) ..and just that !
    PS the platform involved in my situation is

    Take care all and sharing is caring !

  3. BTW I forgot to share her number +1 (323) 315-2730 and she goes by the name “Winnie” after you talk with her, because “her friends and family are calling her like that” . On her FB she goes by the name of Agatha Chan

    She will tell you that she is working as a Interior Design in USA and that she have investements in land properties and that she also invested in crypto and she wants to invest in gold in the future, “without paying taxes” (some people may fall for this type of situations..cheating the guverment, or being “smarter” than the worries, goverment have theyre ways to always shake you for a few bucks, so don’t swheat too much on this ideea ;)..just a friendly advice ! 🙂 ). After some time she will show you pictures , short movies with her in “high life” situations like restaurants, spa etc and perhaps, like in my case, a video call when you sleep that is ringing just enough short to not hear it and still to remain in youre history, so you can see that she was willing to speak with you “live”. After all of this she will drop the “bomb” by sending a picture with “her earnings” from the “crypto investment” : large amounts, like 250k and 30% revenue in just 10 days . From that moment you may be verry tempted to “follow her way” ..just DONT DO IT ! “Play” with her, consume her time so she can not have time to scam inocent people .. that is what we all can do waste her time !
    What is verry important is that she’s not telling you to go to , she’s just manipulating you with a simple picture in order for you to self-convince that is “the deal of youre life” and she will help you with all the steps because she consider you a “good friend”..just after 2 weeks of internet small talks..geeez, people..we all have to wake up and return to reality in situations like that !

    Remember, her job is to gain youre trust..that is the most important factor in her/theyr scheme…. YOUR TRUST ! From there is only your choice..if we even think about, she is not even guilty in front of the law !!! “She only showed you her income and her way to make money and you decided to go further, therefore you are responsible for youre actions and losses !” That is what police may say to you when you are going to file a complaint ! 🙁
    Stay safe folks !

    Best regards,

  4. I got scammed for 100 usdt. We matched on Tinder and talked for 2-3 weeks. I allready had crypto so i transferred to i allready had a bad feeling but it was not much and money i allready wasted. She wanted me to invest more i told her yes i will do when my salary came, when my salary came she asked me again if i had invested yet. I allready had a bad feeling so i told her next month xD at that point she snapped and told me i was stupid wasting something like this. And then i told her “you just proved me right”. We both blocked each other, but i was not finished with her. So i told my sister to write her a message and that i thought this was one of my better investments in life, and that im glad i could waste 3 weeks of her life. I also told her i would never work for 33dollars aweek myself and that i hoped she could keep it all to herself. She also then asked about my girlfriends big zize surgery, if she should pay for it. Then i could tell her it was all a lie because i dident want to get scammed. Kinda feelt good owning her at the end 😀

  5. I’m in the same situation right now. I’ve invested $2k so far and almost invest $20k but I read this. I’m in the process of withdrawing my money, hopefully they let me. I’ve already purchased a ticket to Singapore to go visit my girlfriend in June 26 lol, but I can cancel the ticket and get a refund. She uses a translator and we only text. The site is the non existent selling platform Tiktokglobalselling and they take USDT. After I pulled out the money I’ll tell her about this, she is either a scammer or somebody scammed her too.

  6. 私は合計53000USTDを騙し取られました。



  7. 私は始めテレグラフでとても友好的かつ親切に友達になって欲しい


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