Helping Whitestown PD Crack A $300K Crypto Pig Butchering Case

October 10, 2023
THE CHALLENGE

Cracking Down on Crypto Pig Butchering

In late 2022, Whitestown Police Department in Whitestown, Indiana was contacted the victim of a $300k pig butchering scam. The victim in question was contacted via text message by an individual claiming to be a cryptocurrency trading expert. After an initial exchange via text, the victim was lured onto Whatsapp, wherethe victim continued to share details about their personal life and business goals.  After an initial investment, the victim made a small profit and was able to withdraw money back into their bank account.  Subsequently the subject convinced the victim to invest more money with the promise of great trading opportunities coming up in January and February 2023.

The victim borrowed money and contributed a total of $269,000 to the subject's purported trading platform. In a successful attempt to convince the victim of the legitimacy of the transactions, the subject transferred $219,000 into the victim's account. However, when the victim tried to withdraw $300,000, they were told they needed to pay a 10% withdrawal tax fee of $300,000 to the exchange and the IRS. The subject conveyed to the victim that this was normal protocol and that they had already been successful in the investment after they had paid the tax fee and withdrawn their funds.

THE IMPACT

A Tall Task For An Investigator

Tracking down stolen cryptocurrency presents a unique challenge for even highly-motivated investigators due to a number factors.

First, it requires an extensive allocation of man-hours from investigators well-versed in the utilization of cryptocurrency forensics tools, as cryptocurrency can be moved through dozens if not hundreds of wallets in the immediate aftermath of a scam or other form of crypto crime.

Second, the nature of cryptocurrency allows perpetrators to both swiftly move funds and easily obfuscate their trail, making the establishment of a clear chain of custody difficult even if investigators are able to locate the stolen funds. This is further complicated by the availability of easily-accessible money-laundering tools, which add an additional layer of difficulty to an already lengthy forensic investigation.

Finally, the pseudonymous nature of many cryptocurrencies and the decentralized infrastructure they rely upon provide perpetrators with opportunities to engage in fraud, money laundering, ransomware attacks, and Ponzi schemes on an unprecedented scale. The already labor-intensive process of manually investigating cryptocurrency transactions can quickly become insurmountable in the face of an ever-increasing volume of cases, as cybercriminals escalate their activities at an unprecedented rate.

THE RESOLUTION

Tracking 10x Faster With Cutting-Edge AI

Using AnChain.AI's CISO Investigation Platform and its 1-Click Auto-Trace feature, police investigators were able to create a detailed map of all the transactions associated with the victim's wallet. From there, investigators quickly identified the scammer's wallet, and a cluster of related wallets, eventually leading to a deposit on the Binance exchange.

Utilizing these groundbreaking AI-powered investigation tool, Whitestown Police Department was able to dramatically reduce total investigation time. Furthermore, the CISO platform's clear attribution data allowed them to not only quickly identify the scammer's wallet, but also to clearly pinpoint key endpoints such as the liquidation of funds into a centralized exchange.

AnChain.AI's industry-leading cryptocurrency and smart contract investigation capabilities empower law enforcement agencies like the Whitestown Police Department to quickly and effectively track down stolen funds, resulting in a 10x increase in total volume of cases processed, providing a clear chain of custody trusted by the world's leading regulators and financial authorities.

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