Over the past three years, at least 22 criminal groups have appeared in Russia, organizing fake dates (Fake Date), RBC reports with reference to a study by Group-IB. The income of one of these groups last year amounted to 18 million rubles. at 7000 transactions.
Group-IB experts described a fraudulent scheme: an attacker disguised as a girl meets on Tinder, Badoo or other social networks, and then transfers the communication to instant messengers. After that, the “girl” makes a date, while she has a “ticket” to the theater or to the stand-up show. She shows the QR code of her ticket and offers to redeem a seat next to her. The user pays for the “ticket”, after which the “girl” no longer gets in touch.
Group-IB recorded the first such schemes back in 2018, but in 2020-2021. Fake Date flourished. Fraudsters create fake websites with restaurants, cafes, tickets for stand-up shows, performances, concerts, etc. In total, Group-IB found 700 such sites on the Russian Internet. Moreover, if in 2019 there were only 25 such resources.
In addition to fake dating sites, Group-IB discovered another type of fraudulent scheme: cybercriminals create phishing sites for popular courier services and marketplaces. In some cases, the sites were registered by the same people, experts noted.