In such firms, attackers collect funds from clients who want to invest in digital assets

Bank of Russia warns of crypto scammers working in offline offices

26.08.2022 - 14:15

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2 min

What’s new? The Bank of Russia has warned that financial and cryptocurrency scammers are increasingly opening real offices. In such firms, scammers collect funds from clients who want to invest in digital assets or offer to use special platforms to bypass external and internal financial restrictions. Representatives of the Central Bank stressed that such a scheme is more dangerous, as social engineering methods work better with personal contact. This is reported by Izvestia, citing the press service of the Central Bank.

Izvestia’s material

What else did the press service of the Central Bank report? Previously, attackers preferred to act in the online space, but in recent years, the organizers of fraudulent crypto projects are increasingly moving offline. The press service of the Central Bank specified that so far the percentage of such schemes is insignificant.

“Illegals organize offices to provide their clients with more opportunities to replenish trading accounts or deposit funds into a ‘cryptocurrency project’ regardless of internal and external restrictions,” the regulator’s press service explained.

It is also reported that the number of fraudulent crypto projects continues to grow. Thus, in the first half of 2022, more than 56% of financial pyramids (537 entities) raised funds in various digital assets or advertised investments in cryptocurrencies. Representatives of the Central Bank explained such activity by imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation. Economic restrictions affected the work of financial institutions, which the attackers took advantage of.

Earlier, the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation proposed to toughen penalties for intermediaries of crypto scammers. In this case, droppers could face up to seven years in prison. At the moment, they are prosecuted under Article 172 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Illegal banking activities”)

According to a study by RTM Group, in 2021 the number of legal proceedings related to cryptocurrency and mining increased by 40% in Russia. A total of 954 criminal cases, 365 civil cases, 141 bankruptcy cases, and 71 administrative cases were initiated. Most of the crypto crimes are related to drug trafficking — 738, followed by money laundering and gambling.

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