Major Tech Firms Unite to Combat Online Fraud and “Pig Butchering” Scams

In a significant move to tackle the growing menace of online fraud, a coalition named “Tech Against Scams” has been established, bringing together leading tech and crypto companies. The coalition, spearheaded by Coinbase, includes notable members such as Meta, Match Group, Ripple, Kraken, Gemini, and the Global Anti-Scam Organization (GASO). This initiative aims to combat various forms of online fraud, including the notorious “pig butchering” scams, by fostering collaboration and information sharing among different sectors.

The Tech Against Scams coalition was officially announced recently, marking a groundbreaking step towards a united front against online scams. This coalition emerged from a unique collaboration initiated last summer by Match Group, Coinbase, and Meta, which sought to understand and disrupt cross-platform fraud schemes. Recognizing the need for a broader, industry-wide effort, these companies decided to expand their collaboration to include other major players in the tech and crypto spaces.

The coalition’s primary goals are to identify and disrupt the tools used by scammers, educate consumers, and enhance user protection across various platforms. By sharing best practices, threat intelligence, and other critical information, the coalition aims to create a safer digital environment for users and prevent them from falling victim to sophisticated scams.

One of the coalition’s key targets is the “pig butchering” scam, a deceptive practice that involves scammers building long-term trust with their victims before swindling them out of their money. These scams often start on dating apps or social media platforms, where fraudsters pose as romantic interests or business partners to gain the victim’s confidence. Once trust is established, the scammer convinces the victim to invest in fraudulent crypto schemes, ultimately draining their assets.

According to the latest Crypto Crime Report by Chainalysis, an estimated $5.9 billion was lost to crypto-related scams in 2022, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue. The FBI’s 2023 Internet Crime Report further underscores the severity of the problem, with reported losses from crypto investment scams in the U.S. alone reaching $3.94 billion.

The Tech Against Scams coalition emphasizes the importance of cross-industry collaboration to effectively combat online fraud. As scams become more sophisticated and pervasive, no single company can tackle the problem in isolation. By joining forces, the coalition members aim to leverage each company’s unique strengths and perspectives to identify new adversarial trends and develop effective countermeasures.

Guy Rosen, Chief Information Security Officer at Meta, highlighted the necessity of this collaborative approach, stating, “Scammers and the organized criminal groups behind pig butchering schemes target people across many internet services, making it hard for any one company to see the full picture of malicious activity and counting on each of us working in silos.”

Yoel Roth, VP of Trust & Safety at Match Group, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that “tech companies across industries collaborating with each other is essential for preventing criminal activity and ultimately helps online platforms stay ahead of, and develop effective solutions for, various types of financial crimes.”

In addition to disrupting scam networks, the coalition is committed to educating consumers about the dangers of online fraud and providing them with tools and information to protect themselves. This includes sharing best practices on recognizing and avoiding scams, offering resources for victims, and promoting safe online behavior.

Philip Martin, Chief Security Officer at Coinbase, stressed the importance of consumer education, noting that “fraud schemes are becoming increasingly sophisticated, underscoring a greater emphasis on the importance of industry leaders coming together to tackle fraud and secure a safer digital environment for users.”

The coalition also plans to work closely with law enforcement agencies worldwide to support investigations and bring scammers to justice. By sharing information about fraudulent activities and collaborating on enforcement efforts, the coalition aims to enhance the overall effectiveness of anti-fraud measures.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay