Russian woman wires $5.4 million to cyber criminals during one month

In Russia, a bank client transferred 400 million rubles (about $5.4 million) to fraudsters who promised the woman to "save" her money, RBC reports with reference to Sergei Veligodsky, the chief of Sberbank department for countering cyber fraud. According to him, the incident took place in 2020, and the victim was not a client of Sberbank (Sberbank is Russia's largest state-owned bank -ed.). 

The 54-year-old victim received a call from a person who introduced himself as an employee of the security service of the bank, where the woman had a deposit. The man told her that her money was in danger, but he, as a security service officer, would do his best to help her save her deposits

The woman believed the man and told him that she had 14 million rubles on her account in one bank, and 380 million rubles in another one. The fraudster redirected the victim to an "FSB officer."

“The FSB called her and they started the process to deceive the woman into parting with her money. They eventually made her to withdraw the money from her accounts and wire it to the fraudsters during a whole month," Sergei Veligodsky said.

In 2020, fraudsters stole from bank clients 70% more than in the previous year, whereas the number of incidents of fraud increased by 60%. Most often, cybercriminals find their victims through classifieds. 

Earlier, representatives of Kaspersky Lab and BI.ZONE company, a subsidiary of Sberbank, said that the number of fraudulent calls to Russian citizens allegedly from law enforcement agencies, government agencies and financial regulators skyrocketed last month. 

Most often, fraudsters introduce themselves as officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the police, investigators and employees of the Central Bank. When talking to their "clients," they mayo often use specific terms and warn people about ensuing responsibility should they choose to refuse to cooperate. They also try to sound official and may get assertive to get the person to make a decision quickly and emotionally.