Miami-Dade Police are investigating a string of online crimes that target people’s crypto wallets and life savings.
Investigators said these crimes, known as “pig butchering” or “pig slaughtering,” are on the rise.
MDPD Sgt. Bridget Doyle with the department’s Cyber Crimes Investigations Unit, said these criminals target many demographics
“They don’t care who the victim is, they don’t care what the victim looks like, they don’t care about the victim’s financial status is,” she said. “They don’t care about anything having to do with them. They are doing a job like anybody else.”
Doyle described the elaborate scam, which unfolds over an extended period of time.
“They want to fatten up their target victim until they’ve gotten enough information from them or sweetened the deal enough where they feel like they’re going to get the most amount of money they possibly can out of a person. Then they take that pig to slaughter,” she said.
Investigators said victims receive an anonymous text message or phone call, and the stranger on the other end works to gain their trust.
“Once they gain their trust, they casually move the conversation to, usually, cryptocurrency investments,” said Doyle. “They’ll provide you with a cryptocurrency platform that a family member has started or that a friend has been using, and they’re seeing a high yield or a high return on their investment.”
But police said that website is a ruse, and victims are dropping their life savings into it.
“For one victim, their life savings might be $6,000. For another person, their life savings might be $500. For another, it might be $4 million, and we’ve seen a range gtom from the bottom to the top,” said Doyle.
Over the course of time, the victim looks successful as they check the cryptocurrency account.
“On the back end of the website, they end up taking the investment that you have provided, and they say that you’re gaining this money, but you’re not gaining anything,” said Doyle. “It’s showing that that you’re gaining this money, but your money has already been taken.”
Investigators said the scammers will try to negotiate with those who wish to take their cash out of their crypto wallets.”
“You want to take that money out, that your ‘get-rich-quick’ worked, and now you’re at $5 million, and when you try and withdraw that money, you now have to pay a 10% tax, and they will try and bargain with you,” said Doyle.
Police said the victim will try taking out loans, borrowing money from friends, all while negotiating to get their money back.
“By that time — it’s typically like a three-month rotation — the website is already down,” said Doyle.
And the person on the other end is gone, with all the physical money invested.
Doyle says avoiding this “pig slaughtering” scam is easy.
“I suggest that when you see a link, if somebody sends you a link to go to a website for an investment platform, you do a separate Google, or a separate internet search with your preferred search engine, to know the legitimacy behind that actual website,” she said.
Doyle also has an additional word of advice,
“If you don’t know them in real life, there is no reason that you should be able to establish a rapport or trust with this stranger,” she said.
In 2021, the FBI’s Criminal Complaint Center received more than 4,300 complaints related to these crypto romance-style scams, totaling more than $425 million in losses.
Original Source: wsvn.com
Harvick Wins Again; NASCAR Playoff Picture Remains Muddled
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kevin Harvick may be stamping himself as the man to beat in NASCAR.
The 2014 series champion took the lead from Joey Logano with 66 laps to go and held off Christopher Bell at Richmond Raceway on Sunday for his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Harvick, who ended a 65-race drought last week at Michigan, won for the 60th time, the fourth time at Richmond and first time on the 0.75-mile oval since 2013. He matched Kyle Busch for ninth in career victories in the premier series and credited an increased understanding of the Next Gen car for his progress.
“We’re just going to keep doing the things that we’re doing,” Harvick said. “I think we just have to keep an open mind about things and keep progressing and keep understanding the car, understanding what we could have done better today, understanding what we could have done better in qualifying yesterday and do the same thing over and over,” he said after climbing from his car.
He even took some blame for allowing Bell to come so close at the end.
“I knew he was coming, but I forgot to shift down the front straightaway the last time,” he said. “I was not paying attention and he got closer than he should have. I made a mistake there a couple laps doing the same thing.”
Harvick’s victory also kept alive the intriguing battle for the final playoff position with two races remaining in the regular season. The 15 winners this year have all likely claimed playoff berths unless there are new winners when the series moves to Watkins Glen and then Daytona.
Bell finished second, followed by Chris Buescher, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. Joey Logano, who led for 222 of the 400 laps, faded to sixth, followed by Martin Truex Jr. Ryan Blaney was 10th. Blaney and Truex are the top two drivers in points hoping to make the 16-driver playoffs without a victory.
Thanks to stage points, Blaney increased his lead from 19 points to 26 over Truex for the final playoff spot, assuming there is not a 16th different winner.
The race featured just five cautions for 28 laps, and that includes the two that come at the end of each stage. The last one came when Bell spun on the 252nd lap, and Harvick pulled away after a pair of green-flag pit cycles.
The final pit stops under green came with just more than 50 laps to go.
“I got held up pretty bad at the beginning of the run by a couple slower cars and that was ultimately the difference when you get beat by a couple car lengths,” Bell said. He locked up a playoff spot with a win at Loudon on July 17.
Before Bell, Buescher was on Harvick’s bumper, but never got around him.
“I think it’s a little easy with this format to feel like third place doesn’t matter, but it’s nice to be close and to keep progressing and getting better,” he said. “Just burned the rear tires up. Ultimately that’s on me. Lap traffic didn’t do us any favors, either, but ultimately just got to keep the rears under us a little bit better so we can have a little bit better shot there to get after him for the win.”
Ross Chastain has ruffled many feathers this year with his aggressive style and Sunday was no different as he got together with Kyle Busch on lap 241.
Busch rallied to finish ninth, but said: “We got ‘Chastained’ this week.”
Chastain, who took the lead at the start of the race and led the entire 70-lap first stage, never got back to the front again and finished 18th, two laps down.
ODDS AND ENDS
Ty Gibbs again replaced Kurt Busch, who missed his fourth consecutive race while recovering from a concussion. After getting his first top-10 finish a week ago, Gibbs finished just 180 laps before his engine blew. … Bubba Wallace, like Gibbs driving for 23XI Racing owned by Michael Jordan and Hamlin, had his string of top 10 finishes stop at four. He wound up 13th. … Kyle Busch’s string of eight consecutive finishes outside the top 10 ended with a ninth-place run.
The series moves to the road course at Watkins Glen, New York.
Search Underway for 72-year-old Man Who Went Missing at FLL
Authorities seek the public’s help in their search for a 72-year-old man who went missing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Isaac Sanders was last seen in the area of 50 Terminal Drive at FLL at around 2 p.m., Sunday.
He stands about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighs around 205 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.
Sanders was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt with the word “Lee” on it, dark blue pajama-type pants with Mickey Mouse on them and brown sandals.
According to his family, he suffers from dementia.
Officials urge anyone with information on Sanders’ whereabouts to call BSO Missing Persons detective Christopher Blankenship at 954-321-4268 or BSO’s non-emergency number at 954-764-HELP (4357).
Original Article: wsvn.com
North Florida Teen Who Lost Part of Leg After Shark Attack Continues Recovery After Hospital Release
A North Florida teen faces a long road to recovery months after she survived a shark attack.
Addison Bethea, who lost part of her leg in the June 30 incident, is back home from the hospital and on the mend.
Before the 17-year-old left Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare’s rehabilitation center earlier this month, front-line workers who took care of her gave her a round of applause.
Bethea has come a long way since the attack. The teen was hunting for scallops in the water near Keaton Beach in Florida’s Panhandle when a shark described by her family as nine feet long swam up and bit her.
“I didn’t really know exactly what to do, but I knew that with sharks, you’re supposed to punch them in the nose to get them off of you, and I couldn’t get around to punch it in the nose,” she said, “so then I just started socking it in the face, and then I poked its eyes, and then I tried to latch it off of me with my fingers, and it bit my hand.”
Bethea’s brother, Rhett Willingham, said he heard his sibling scream for help.
“Well, we were actually swimming side by side when it happened, and I heard her, like, make a noise, like something scared her, and I sat up and looked and didn’t see her,” he said, “and then she came up in the water, and I saw the shark and the blood and all that.”
That is when Willingham, who’s a firefighter and emergency medical technician, swam over and got the shark off.
“There was another boat that pulled up, like right next to us, to get her, so [a boater] helped me load her in the boat, and then we put the tourniquet on her and then got her back to land as soon as as possible,” he said.
Addison was taken to a Tallahassee hospital when she had to undergo a partial amputation surgery for her leg.
The hospital later posted updates like her first steps after surgery.
Now that she’s back home, Bethea said she’s grateful her brother was there to save her life.
“He’s always been kind of like a hero to me. Ever since we were little, he’s always been there, and I don’t really expect anything less of him, to be honest,” she said. “Like, anytime I was in trouble, he would get me out. He promised me.”
Willingham says he’s happy to see his sister’s positivity.
“It’s definitely not something I ever expected to watch, but seeing her now and how positive she is, is good to see,” he said.
Bethea’s family said they are planning to continue her outpatient rehabilitation, as well as home healthcare services.
Original Article: wsvn.com
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