DuPage County State’s Attorney office and U.S. Secret Service shut down fraudulent investment websites

Image of DuPage County State Attorney logo and the U.S. Secret Service logo with a digitial background.
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More than three hundred and fifty fake websites designed to trick visitors through fraudulent investment scams were shut down in a joint operation by State’s Attorney Berlin’s office, the United States Secret Service, and the DuPage County IT Department.

DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Secret Service shut down scam websites

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and United States Secret Service Deputy Special Agent in Charge Derek Mayer, announced that the scam, commonly known as “Pig Butchering,” involved three individuals from another country. 

The three would pose as successful, friendly individuals or ones with romantic interests to deceive victims into giving them money for emergencies, investments, employment opportunities, or other schemes. Once they received the money from the victims, they would disappear.

Around 17,800 people were saved from the phony websites

The effort from the State’s Attorney’s Office and U.S. Secret Service saved 17,800 visitors from the phony websites. Berlin’s and Mayer’s offices have since created a public service announcement to help anyone stay clear of such scams.

“While the use of technology has certainly enhanced our lives from keeping in touch with loved ones through being more productive at work, it has also made us much more vulnerable,” Berlin said. “Even for those who are familiar with potential scams on the Internet, it is still extremely easy to become a target of such scams. To minimize the chances of becoming a victim, do not provide any personal information, particularly financial information, to anyone you have only corresponded with online or on the phone. I would also say to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right about a transaction, do not complete it.”

Perpetrators often live outside of the U.S. and because of that, investigators can focus on taking away their money and dismantling their infrastructure to commit fraud. 

“This is a significant case both in DuPage County and the state of Illinois, and it led to protecting so many people from falling prey to these online traps,” Mayer said. “The Secret Service appreciates our partnership with the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office that ended up helping so many people.”

Photo Courtesy: DuPage County, Illinois 

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