Russian investors are being targeted by increasing numbers of crypto and financial pyramids. They have opened physical offices throughout the country. Recent concerns expressed by the Central Bank of Russia about this trend are seen as a sign that fraudsters anticipate growing demand.
Russian Crypto Scams Open Offices To Lure More Investors In Person, Bank of Russia Declares
Illegal forex dealers and financial pyramids in Russia are moving offline. Many of them specialize in providing crypto investment opportunities and settlement options.
These scammers are now opening new offices to try and convince victims to make investments in virtual money. Experts say that in-person communication is more efficient for this purpose.
The report also warned that sharing data with suspicious platforms can lead to the loss of fiat and crypto funds. The trend of going offline indicates that scammers are preparing for a larger demand as Russians’ access to global financial assets has become extremely problematic, the report notes.
Sanctions imposed by the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and foreign currency restrictions introduced in response by Russian authorities have boosted interest in crypto assets. Russians often buy bitcoin (BTC), as well as other crypto currencies and stablecoins in order to safeguard their assets from any government actions or transfer them abroad.
The Rise of Cryptofraud is Due to Restrictions and Sanctions
Data compiled this year by the Bank of Russia shows that financial pyramids were much more active. The regulator found 954 of these entities in the first half 2022, as opposed to 146 last year. That’s over a six-fold increase.
There are more people offering investment in fake or real cryptocurrencies. More than half (56% or 537 entities of fraudulent schemes) have raised funds or offered investments in digital assets.
Russia’s monetary authority believes that fraudsters are taking advantage of the radically changed operations of traditional financial institutions as a result of the sanctions which are affecting international settlements and investments in foreign assets.
Recently, the CBR relaxed some restrictions regarding foreign currency access for Russian citizens. This allowed banks to expand the availability of U.S. dollars and Euro cash to the general public. It’s unclear yet how the change will influence interest in crypto which, according to a recent survey, remains relatively high in Russia.
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