Each year, people around the world lose millions of dollars to a highly-sophisticated scam known as 'the pig butchering romance scam'.
It takes its name from the victims, which scammers call 'pigs' - those they can 'fatten' before 'butchering'. Scammers target individuals on dating sites and social media, posing as attractive, successful professionals. They seduce and manipulate their victims, winning their trust before luring them to invest on sham cryptocurrency platforms.
But behind the fake online profiles is a much darker reality. Those conducting the scams often do so against their will, trafficked to huge, walled compounds in southeast Asia.
A new investigation by the BBC World Service’s investigations team BBC Eye, takes you inside one of these scam compounds in Cambodia, where people from all over the world are locked up, beaten, starved and forced to scam - all at the hands of criminal gangs.
We tell the story of Didi, a trafficked victim who was secretly filming his experience from inside the notorious Huang Le compound. He started sharing his videos with the BBC and The Global Anti-Scam Organisation [GASO], a volunteer-run group who help rescue and support trafficked victims. We follow his incredible journey as he escapes and makes his way back home to China.
We meet two scam victims, one in the US and the other in China, who lost millions of dollars and had their lives turned upside down. And exclusive access to a former scam boss, whose company stole millions of US dollars over the years from victims using a manual he designed.
The documentary airs Tuesday 7th March on BBC Three.