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14 June
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Russia

In 2020, fraudsters remotely lured 150 billion rubles from Russians

In the first half of 2020, the Bank of Russia blocked more than 9.7 thousand fraudulent phone numbers

Photo: Sputnik

/NOVOSTIVL/ In 2020, phone and online scammers will earn about 150 billion rubles from Russians, of which 66 billion rubles are accounted for by the income of pseudo-Bank employees, BrandMonitor calculated. The most expensive, on average, were conversations with fictitious health workers who lure out more than 50 thousand rubles per person. Before the New year, another surge in fraud is possible.

From January to December 2020, phone scammers and online scammers earned almost 150 billion rubles from Russians, analysts at BrandMonitor estimate.

According to the company, fraudsters received 66 billion rubles by posing as representatives of financial organizations on the phone and withdrawing money through ATMs, 46.5 billion rubles were earned on fictitious medical services, and 18.6 billion rubles were brought by phishing sites and non-existent online stores. Conversations with fictitious health workers turned out to be the most expensive: on average, earnings on this form amounted to more than 50 thousand rubles per person. Pseudo-Bank employees received about 27 thousand rubles at a time from the cards of deceived interlocutors or about 15 thousand rubles. via ATMs, according to BrandMonitor data.

It is extremely difficult to estimate the amount of theft in reality, as people often do not report their losses. According to preliminary estimates of Kaspersky Lab, we can really talk about tens of billions of rubles, confirmed the leading expert of the company Sergey Golovanov.

According to him, a large number of incidents in the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet were associated with Scam, that is, with online fraud, in which attackers promise the user a monetary reward, for which he needs to pay a Commission. The amount of earnings of fraudsters can be called "cosmic" even in comparison, for example, with the volume of net profit that VTB plans to earn by the end of 2020 — 70-75 billion rubles.

In the first half of 2020, the Bank of Russia blocked more than 9.7 thousand fraudulent phone numbers, which is four times more than the same period last year, according to the Central Bank's reports. In 2019, the volume of transactions made online without the consent of customers amounted to 6.4 billion rubles.

The average "check" of a telephone attacker from a pseudo-Bank of 10-15 thousand rubles was estimated in February 2020 in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta by Artem Sychev, Deputy Director of the Bank of Russia's information security Department.

In 2020, two mutually reinforcing trends met: the annual significant increase in fraud and the transition of the population to remote work, which increases the importance of communication tools and people's loyalty to incoming unfamiliar calls.

According to Kaspersky Lab, in Russia in 2020, among all incoming calls from unknown numbers, the share of spam was 63%, and the share of calls with suspected fraud was 5.9%. The scammers improved their tactics and delegated the initial call to robots to reduce the cost of the attack. To deal with call centres in the prisons of the Federal penitentiary service has proposed a technique of generating interference with cellular communication.

So far, regulatory initiatives have not led to a noticeable effect, and in the case of software methods to combat unwanted calls, a question arises for developers of such applications: they will have access to at least the numbers of not only fraudulent incoming calls, but also all the others.

In 2020, scammers have already increased their activity not just by tens of percent, but several times, and before the New year, as before any big holiday, the activity of phone fraud will grow even more. Financial organizations and Telecom operators are actively fighting fraudsters and blocking their numbers, although only an increase in financial and digital literacy of citizens can significantly improve the situation.

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