Financial fraudsters take advantage of pandemic and market uncertainty to deceive people
The Bank of Russia has recorded higher activity of illegal forex dealers offering their services online against the background of anti-pandemic restrictions and high volatility in financial markets. Many of these companies are registered abroad and are operating from foreign web resources. Almost all consumers entrusting their funds to such forex dealers ultimately lose their money.
Illegal creditors have also increased their activity. Exploiting the fact that a lot of people are facing a decline in their incomes, swindlers are calling around potential ‘customers’ offering them ‘borrowings without any statements and sureties’.
‘We forecast that in the future, after the pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, there may be a surge of offers from so called anti-collectors—firms offering individuals to settle their problems with creditors for a fee,’ said Valery Lyakh, Director of the Bank of Russia’s Department for Countering Misconduct. ‘We are urging financial service consumers to be prudent and not to trust illegal entities’ offers. By using their services, you may only exacerbate your situation since fraudsters are employing aggressive and unlawful debt collection methods and do not fulfil their obligations. Super attractive terms (very low loan interest and very high deposit interest) are often signs of a fraud.’
Swindlers may also promise various types of payments or compensations to individuals, or send them emails with links to malicious websites. Such offerings are always followed by attempts to find out bank card details or make an individual pay an amount (allegedly, a tax, fine, insurance premium, etc.) on his/her own to the benefit of a certain person. If strangers are trying to worm out your bank card details under whatever guise or force you to make a payment, you should terminate this communication.
You may verify the legal status of a company offering financial services on the Bank of Russia’s website. In the case of any loan repayment issues, individuals should apply to creditors and use loan restructuring options provided for by law.
In 2020 Q1, the Bank of Russia detected 369 entities unlawfully offering their services in the financial market, including 37 financial pyramids, 254 malicious creditors, 53 illegal forex dealers, and others. As before, there was recorded an increase in the number of websites and platforms offering earnings from cryptocurrency transactions and all types of services in the cryptocurrency market.