(KXAN) — On the search for love, many people turn to dating apps, but a few friendly texts with a potential match can quickly turn into one of the newest and fastest-growing scams.

“Pig butchering” or “pig slaughtering” is a crypto scam in which victims are enticed to put money into an account, essentially fattening that account up, before disappearing with large amounts of cryptocurrency.

Austin Police Department in Austin, Texas, recently highlighted the growing scam and what you should look for so you don’t become a victim.

“The scammer works to make an emotional relationship with their victim with the end goal of persuading the victim to invest cryptocurrency into a fictitious website controlled by the scammer,” an APD detective told KXAN News.

How to avoid becoming a victim

  • Don’t send money, trade, or invest with a person you have only met online
  • Don’t speak about your financial position or investments
  • Don’t share personal information with people or online persons whom you haven’t validated or don’t trust
  • Be wary of large-interest earnings on short-term investments

Romance scams on the rise

According to the Federal Trade Commission, over the last five years, people have reported losing $1.3 billion to romance scams, which is more than any other FTC fraud category.

Romance scammers aren’t just using dating apps, but also private messaging people as well.

Contact IC3.gov if you suspect you’ve been scammed.