Posing as siloviki, phone scammers leave people without apartments

In recent days, phone fraudsters have begun to add to the fake police officers and fake bank employees fake public service employees. It is through this official website that they are trying to obtain personal data of citizens. All with the same purpose – to get to a person’s bank account.

There is a real epidemic of telephone fraud in Russia. According to the Central Bank’s estimates, in the second quarter of 2021 alone, fraudsters stole from Russians more than 3 billion rubles from bank accounts in this way. Basically, the victims are the elderly, knowingly unable to effectively defend themselves.

The dialogue between fraudsters and a citizen follows the standard scenario:

– They are harassing from the Moscow City Department of Internal Affairs.

Senior operative Smirnov. Money is debited from your account.

– From what account?

– Banking! Am I not making myself clear?

– Very understandable. And from what account?

– In the sense – from what? Do you have an account with Alfa-Bank?

– No.

– What about Sberbank or VTB?

– Announce the entire list, please.

– Don’t you understand who is calling ?! Have you been taught how to talk to the police for a long time? Do you want us to come to you with a search ?!

– Just like that with the search? Come on over. When to expect?

They hung up at the other end.

Today, an amazing situation has developed – every day thousands of Russians receive calls from people posing as police officers, the Investigative Committee, and bank security services. If a person believes that money is being stolen from his account right at this moment or a loan is being issued for him, and follows the simple instructions of the caller, then the money from his account will definitely be stolen. And later, when the unfortunates realize what happened, they will run to the police.

Summaries of police accepted allegations from telephone fraud victims today are like summaries from the front. Here are the most recent ones.

Residents of Bryansk just last week after such calls gave scammers 8.6 million rubles. The police have registered 54 similar statements. The deceivers presented themselves as bank employees.

In the Rostov region the other day a telephone scammer robbed an elderly resident of Taganrog for 2.5 million rubles. The unhappy woman said that a man called her and introduced himself as a police officer. The linden policeman explained that the woman was entitled to compensation for the medicines she once bought, which allegedly turned out to be of poor quality. The fraudster convinced the pensioner that in order to receive the payment, she needed to go to the ATM and follow its instructions. When the woman performed the actions that the fraudster called, all the money that was in the account was debited from her card – 2.5 million rubles.

According to the police of the Tula region, only over the past weekend 11 people wrote statements about fraud by phone, from whom 9 million 173 thousand rubles were stolen. One of the victims is a 39-year-old resident of Tula. On the phone, under the pretext of stopping “unauthorized transactions” with his money, the scammers persuaded the man to get two loans, sell an apartment and a car. The amount of damage amounted to 6 million 904 thousand 800 rubles.

Recently, something new has begun to come across. The other day, a 42-year-old resident of the regional center turned to the duty station of the police in the city of Baranovichi. The man told the police that the night before he was called by an employee of the support service of the website of state services. She reported the leak of his personal data and stated that someone wants to use his personal information and apply for a loan for him. She explained that it was necessary to change the password for his service. Then she asked him to tell her the SMS code that came to his phone to change the password. Having gained access to the personal data of a citizen, the swindler immediately issued an online loan for him for 80 thousand rubles.

With a person, if he did not hang up the phone, did not send the caller to hell, they immediately begin to work professionally, allegedly switching him to other such fake employees. They call repeatedly and speak quickly and energetically. In general, it will be processed so that a person goes and takes a loan from a bank, transfers money to fraudsters, sells housing himself …

It has now become clear that there are practically no single fraudsters in this area. A whole network of call centers operates. Mostly abroad. It’s safer this way. These are the Baltic countries, Poland, Serbia. But Ukraine has the palm. Scammers in such foreign call centers are first taught to talk, psychologically pressure a person, use IP-telephony and spoofed numbers. They have at their disposal numerous stolen databases of our citizens. Particular preference is for banking and pension databases.

In one quarter of 2021, swindlers stole more than three billion rubles from Russians

Vladislav Grib, Deputy Secretary of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, told reporters: “90 percent of calls, as a rule, are from abroad. This is mainly Ukraine. In 2020, our citizens lost about 66 billion rubles on telephone scammers.”

On the TV channel “Russia 1” in the program “Live broadcast” by Andrey Malakhov, an investigation was shown about the methods of work of telephone scammers.

About 150 such call centers operate in the city of Dnipro alone. Their specialization is calls within Russia. You should not count on local law enforcement agencies.

The TV channel showed how the journalists allegedly got a job there. They were instructed on how much money can be stolen from Russian citizens. They explained that up to 300 people can be called a day. And you only need to call Russians: “If we were to call within Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, it would be dangerous. At the moment we have been given the green light, and we are working in Russia.”

More recently, Russian-speaking residents of Finland also complained about telephone scammers who pretend to be employees of Nordea and S-Pankki banks. According to residents of the neighboring state, the callers knew their names and spoke Russian. The scheme is the same as ours: “A purchase was made on your behalf” or “a bank employee” asks for personal data “to combat leakage.” Local banks are already aware of the calls and say that most often fraudsters scare a potential victim with a personal data leak.

But it seems that the ice has broken. And they start to be caught. True, so far only on the territory of our country. On the eve of a large special operation in Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, police carried out. They staged a real raid on telephone scammers in three residential high-rise buildings. And one of the leaders was taken in St. Petersburg.

The managers of offices with call centers in Kirovsky and Leninsky districts were detained. The 32-year-old and 38-year-old women were seized with bank cards, gadgets and mobile phones – everything that is necessary to deceive mainly the elderly.


Ivan Soloviev, Doctor of Law,

Honored Lawyer of Russia

– First of all, it is necessary to simplify the procedure for interaction between the police and banks. So that law enforcement officers, only having received a statement from the victim, could promptly send a request to the bank to suspend operations on the account used by the fraudsters. So it would be possible to prevent funds from being diverted to those accounts from which the attackers are already irrevocably withdrawing money. Another important issue concerns the immediate review of the terms and conditions for the provision of telephone spoofing services by individual telephone companies. Encrypting numbers already provides fraudsters with a wide field for the implementation of criminal plans, and the number substitution service directly contributes to this. I think that the issues of ensuring freedom of competition should recede into the background before the main issue of the security of our citizens. And one more point is the introduction of a second signature service for older people, when an elderly person cannot take out a loan or make a transfer without a second signature of his loved one, for example, a son, daughter, nephew or other person whom he trusts.



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