Russian Internet users are being targeted by an email campaign promoting the launch of what is believed to be a state-issued cryptocurrency. Potential victims are encouraged to follow links to websites of fraudulent investment schemes, security experts say.
Thousands of investment offers entice Russians to put their money into nonexistent cryptocurrencies
Scammers are sending emails to Russian residents claiming to be writing on behalf of the regulator about the upcoming launch of the “Russian State Cryptocurrency,” Tass News Agencyreportedciting Kaspersky Lab.
“With such messages, attackers lure users to resources where they risk losing money,” the cybersecurity firm explained.Thousands of such letters were sent by the end of February, the anti-virus provider has revealed.
The scam emails claim that Russia is preparing to introduce state-issued crypto and urge recipients to follow a link to the website of the coin’s investment program. The site also introduces a project allegedly developed by Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram, the most popular messenger in the crypto community.
The platform offers visitors a bogus opportunity to invest in the project and earn even more in the future. In reality, the deposits made by the victims go to the scammers. Investors get nothing back and risk jeopardizing confidential information shared on the website.
The anti-spam system of Mail.ru, a leading Russian high-tech company, blocks more than 200,000 emails daily from crypto-related scams, according to the technical director of the group’s business unit. About 15% of these are disguised as letters allegedly sent on behalf of regulators, Andrey Sumin detailed.
To avoid falling victim to such scams, experts recommend that users improve their digital literacy in the first place, use smartphone and PC security solutions, pay attention to the content of emails, click on links from unknown sources, and avoid suspicious They recommend refraining from entering sensitive data on websites.
The Central Bank of Russia has been working on a project to issue a digital version of the nation’s fiat currency. The digital ruble will be the third Russian money other than cash and electronic bank money. It will be used for payments, not investments.
In February, the monetary authority announced plans to begin testing with real users and transactions on April 1 for a full launch in 2024. Russia has yet to comprehensively regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
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