Attack of clones: wave of fraud with fake sites reaches Kazan

Swindlers can rob over a million of rubles with copies of famous organisations’ websites

This year fraud with clone sites of famous organisations became more frequent in Kazan. Thanks to some insignificant difference in the address and content of a site, swindlers manage to steal sums of more than a million of rubles from one victim. Online fraud blossoms, in general: the number of registered cases decreases a bit, while imposters make up new ways of getting others' money. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

Swindlers became online

Incidents with use of the Internet and mobile network account for more than a half of fraud cases in Kazan. It comes from director of the Fraud Detection Department of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Administration of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kazan Ildar Vafin. He told 2,500 criminal fraud cases were registered in Kazan, in general, for 11 months in 2017. Here the administration detects quite positive dynamics – last year, over 2,800 such cases took place during the same period. However, the number of fraud with the use of hi-tech has changed 'insignificantly', in his opinion, it is at the level of 1,600 cases during 11 months.

Apart from well-known fraud ways on the Net, imposters demonstrate something new every year. For instance, the wave of fraud with the use of clones of online shops, websites of big companies and foreign currency exchanges reached Kazan.

Fake Internet

Vafin doesn't name specific sites that swindler clone more often but notes it, as a rule, is pages of big and famous organisations that supply goods, online shops and banks. Such a site has an unnoticeable difference in an address' lettering. And during the press conference on 26 December, Vafin urged many times to be careful about the content of URL bars and the very site's content. In addition, Kazan already has victims of such a lack of carefulness.

Incidents with use of the Internet and mobile network account for more than a half of fraud in Kazan, Ildar Vafin states. Photo: казань.16.мвд.рф

For instance, 'a representative of one of the big organisations of the city' who made a deal to purchase high-pressure polyethylene on such a clone site turned to the Administration of Internal Affairs of Kazan on 11 December. The property damage amounted to 1,7 million rubles. Another citizen of Kazan lost 600,000 rubles when signed an agreement for trust management of money on a fake site.

Vafin notes that owners of such fake sites, as a rule, close the page themselves and move to another address by changing their contacts after several fraud cases. This is why the Kazan Administration of Internal Affairs advised being careful about your commercial partners, especially on the Internet.

In hunt for easy money

In addition, there are cases of clone online currency exchanges. Information about such exchanges is spread in social networks with promises to make big money. And such sites have an illusion that the user really earned something in currency games. However, it's not possible to get the money that was 'earned' on the site.

''If people want to make money easily, they need to understand the situation. They need to check twice when the site was created, opinions about it, not to immediately open an account and deposit big sums of money. If a person has some skills that allow him to play on the exchange, probably he will have a possibility to find everything out,'' Vafin commented on this situation.

A 21-year-old girl suffered from such an 'exchange' in Kazan who deposited $10 to her e-wallet and like made money. Later she decided to play for high stakes, deposited $60 and couldn't take them back because the system 'asked additional transactions and manipulations'. These transactions cost the girl a big sum: the total damage in her case is about 150,000 rubles.

There are cases of clone online currency exchanges

A swindler can be found but not immediately

Nevertheless, such imposters can be found and arrested. As an example, Vafin told about arresting a 31-year-old citizen of Kazan who stole money through his own sites that sold tobacco products. Instead of tobacco products, the imposter sent his clients 5-litre bottles with water and then, as it was said above, changed the address on the Internet.

The Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kazan says the imposter deceived businesspeople across all Russia. Nowadays the investigation revealed the involvement of the charlatan in six episodes.

Vafin confirmed that online swindlers often work across Russia and they are caught by also joint efforts of different law enforcement bodies by attracting the police of other countries to the case at times. At the same time, the police in Russia have a method of looking for such swindlers. But in this case, the persecution can take much time.

''We know how to solve these crimes. There are tactics and a method. But there is a problem with the speed because there are several stages to find the final point. This is why our task now is to do a preventive job, so that fewer people will become victims of swindlers.''

Vafin found it difficult to evaluate the time that is needed to find an online swindler and noted that sometimes everything happens 'very fast'. However, he admitted there are online fraud cases that the administration couldn't solve.

Those who show their phones in public become victims, Vafin noted. Photo:

Danger of open data

Vafin also told about more habitual and famous fraud ways on the Net and with phones: for instance, when imposters ask a bale for a good and disappear or when criminals know data of bank card and withdraw money from the account and get access to the victim's mobile bank having presented as bank workers.

He also told about the cases when imposters reregistered the victim's number with the aid of fake passports and then went to a bank and took out loans.

''Those who show their phones in public become victims. We recommend to do so in case if your phone doesn't have a mobile bank,'' Vafin complained.

Calls from not so remote places

Phone fraud still works, for instance, the way 'your relative got into trouble, money is needed' already became classic. A real performance is staged for the victim in such cases. One of the imposters performs the role of that relative (the fact that the victim doesn't recognise his voice is often explained by flu or jaw injury), the second one plays a police worker who asks money to 'solve the problem'. The imposters call at night to catch you flatfooted and establish the conversation in such a way that the victim won't put the phone down and won't check information.

Phone fraud still works, for instance, the way 'your relative got into trouble, money is needed' already became classic. Photo:

What's interesting is that 'actors' of such plays are often in prisons and call right from there. Very Vafin confirmed it during the press conference. He also added more than a half of the victims in such cases are people older than 60 years.

In addition, the police more often detect cases when imposters call to small companies by presenting as their boss (another voice is explained by the same flu) and ask to give the courier a daily revenue 'to pay bills off'. In this respect, the law enforcement bodies advised directors of organisations to have preventive discussions with their employees, so that those won't give money after calling.

State services and fortune tellers

In conclusion, Vafin noted that face-to-face fraud hasn't lost its topicality. Such imposters enter people's flat by presenting workers of different services and public organisations and either steal the flat owner's money by distracting him or got the money with the aid of deception.

In addition, 'due to the trustfulness of citizens' in Kazan, the market of magic services still blossoms – different pseudo-clairvoyants and fortune tellers offer to solve 'all problems' for big sums.

By Aleksandr Artemyev