Single mom reveals she lost $80K to fraudster she met on Hinge in cruel 'pig ... trends now
A single mother has revealed how she lost $80,000 to a fraudster she met on Hinge as part of a cruel 'pig-butchering' scam sweeping the country.
Kate, 41, was lured in by a crook posing as a 36-year-old wine trader from Seattle who persuaded her to make bogus cryptocurrency investments with the promise of big returns.
The con is known as 'pig-butchering' because victims are 'fattened up' with a fake romantic relationship before being butchered by fraudulent investment advice.
Kate, from Vancouver, Washington, had been single since 2016 when she decided to download Hinge for the first-time last year.
In March she began talking to 'Andy Josef Marc' who she thought was a 'high caliber' man who replied frequently - unlike the others she had met on the app.
Kate, 41, who used a pseudonym for the piece, lost $80,000 to a 'pig butchering' scam
Kate, from Vancouver, Washington, had been single since 2016 when she decided to download Hinge for the first-time last year
After chatting for around a month, he began to talk to her about cryptocurrency investments. He then persuaded her to invest $1,000 initially - which she was able to withdraw straight away.
She was then coerced into taking out personal loans to keep investing but soon the platform 'froze' her account before charging her exorbitant fees to access her funds. In all, she lost $80,000.
The 'pig butchering' con is long-winded and sees the scammer engage in a months-long relationship to build up trust.
Crooks often allow victims to withdraw money easily from the investment app in the beginning - but once they have invested heavily they will lose this option.
Kate - who asked that Dailymail.com use a pseudonym - had initially bought cryptocurrency on the legitimate platform Coinbase. But she was then instructed to transfer it to a second party trading app.
'When you see these stories, people always say 'oh the victim was an idiot,' she told Dailymail.com.
'But these scammers are really crafty, they're really manipulative.
'They spend a long time gaining your trust. He was sending me screenshots of his own investments and it all just sounded legitimate to me.
'I was the perfect sucker in a way because I knew nothing about cryptocurrencies.'
Kate said she first became suspicious of 'Andy' in April as it felt like she was talking to different people, with his moods often changing quickly.
They had spoken once on video call and again on a telephone call. They had planned to meet up in-person but he cancelled the trip last minute, claiming he had Covid.
Messages supplied by Kate