How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

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As soon as the government announces any new benefits or compensation mechanisms, scammers immediately come up with a divorce scheme based on such bait.

There is a possibility that the residents of the Russian Federation have not seen the last lockdown or its softened version with the declared non-working days. Someone spent them in a remote office, someone enjoyed an unscheduled weekend. However, the scammers did not doze off and tried to squeeze the maximum benefit out of the new scheme. And since the lockdown format has entered our lives, it makes sense to figure out how the divorce scheme built on it works and how not to fall for it.

Email from the Compensation Fund

Many modern divorce schemes start with an email newsletter with big headlines and attractive, believable-looking promises.

When implementing this scheme, a letter is sent to the email of potential victims on behalf of the Compensation Fund. The content of the email states that during the lockdown period, the recipient is entitled to VAT compensation: as part of the implementation of social support measures for the population during the announced non-working days. Something the user could hear out of the corner of his ear in the news, without plunging into the topic for whom, how and how much it should be.

The content of the letter looks as solid and convincing as possible. It even contains a reference to a certain decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “2412-53 PP21” dated 10/26/2021. In order to receive the compensation payments due, if desired, not only for the current, but also for the previous financial period, it is enough to submit an application on the official portal. Link attached. Some Russians, accustomed to notifications from the State Services by e-mail, follow the link prepared by scammers.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

We invite you to carefully study the screenshot of such a letter. The sender's address contains some kind of chaotic set of characters instead of the name of the organization: serious official senders do not allow themselves this. The number of the Government Decree, which is referred to in the text, is useful to break through the legislative bases like the Consultant or the Guarantor. At worst, it’s good to check through search engines: even they will show that a document with such data does not exist, which means that the offer to receive compensation is definitely fake. It is curious that swindlers operate with the term VAT. He is unequivocally well-known to the average Russian: he flashes in the news. However, not everyone understands what this abbreviation stands for. Something solid, obscure, and at the same time definitely on the current media agenda is the perfect bait from the point of view of scammers.

In fact, VAT in Russia was promised to be reimbursed exclusively to legal entities. It was swindlers who began to process individuals with a similar offer. The only option for physicists to receive a VAT refund is to purchase expensive goods while traveling abroad. In the Russian Federation, its citizens can only count on a partial refund of personal income tax - a tax on personal income, and then subject to a number of conditions for a tax deduction for treatment and education.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

Mythical welfare service

Fraudsters, apparently, are tired of copying the State Services website, and its clones block it quite quickly. So in this divorce scheme, they are trying something new. The link leads to the website of the organization with the loud and impressive name of the Unified Service for Social Support of the Population - that's right, all in capital letters.

But the site address let us down. Well, what is this domain name kabinet124? Such sets of letters and numbers are used only by one-day sites, and not by decent departments. Domain name ending delivers separately. Official sites are based on .ru or, and it is difficult to expect anything decent from a resource with the .xyz extension. The fake website offers the victim to receive social compensation in the amount of 8,000 to 250,000 rubles. They promise to make cash receipts on the specified card in 15-20 minutes, which is extremely fast for government agencies. In order to spur a doubting person and deprive him of the opportunity to calmly think everything over, scammers rush the client: of course, the offer is limited in time, if you don’t use it, that’s it, the train has left and no payments.

In order to find out the amount of payments due, it is required to enter the data of the applicant, and surprisingly minimalistic by the standards of the domestic bureaucracy. No heap of references: the full name and the last three digits of the passport are enough for scammers.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

After a short questionnaire, the swindlers prudently painted the categories of citizens who allegedly have the right to claim payments. The list is very wide: from catering employees and junior medical staff to all self-employed, regardless of the profile of activity. The scam site was also adorned with testimonials from happy payout recipients. On the State Services and the social security website, by the way, lyrical detailed user reviews are not collected.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

When filling out the questionnaire and clicking on the large red button, the site simulates the process of data processing. To do this, the user is consistently shown inscriptions about accessing a certain unified registry and social insurance databases. At the same time, the client’s personal data is promised to be protected using SSL encryption, so that everything looks impressive and grown-up.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

After the verification is completed, each user will see the promised amount of payments that can turn their heads: all of a sudden it is over 200 thousand rubles.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

False Lawyer to Extort Data

To receive such an attractive amount, you need very little: fill out an application and contact a competent lawyer for advice.

The scammers, of course, did not spend money on a real full-time lawyer, having managed with an ordinary data collection bot. However, similar bots with the same written scripts are often used for initial communication and on the websites of real law firms, so this aspect of the divorce scheme looks more or less plausible.

This robotic specialist, for starters, sort of looks for the profile of the applicant in his database. And, of course, it does not find it under a plausible pretext: since the user receives this type of compensation for the first time. Well, still: this divorce scheme for VAT compensation during the lockdown has just been invented, it is completely fresh. But this is not a problem: all you have to do is fill out a new questionnaire.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

She is also short, so as not to tire and scare the victims. It is enough to enter the number of the bank card to which they promise to send money, and the full date of birth. It seems to be a trifle, but together with the data from the previous brief questionnaire, an impressive array of data already falls into the hands of fraudsters:

  • Date of Birth,
  • Bankcard number,
  • the last digits of the passport.
  • This catch can already be sold on the black market or used for other social engineering schemes and gaining access to the victim's accounts.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

Please pay the fee

Data phishing is not the only purpose of the site. Of course, scammers will not miss the opportunity to try to get money from the victim immediately. To do this, she is offered to pay a lawyer for registration, which includes the preparation of documents, 650 rubles. The amount is not round, it is similar in size to various state duties, and compared to the two hundred promised compensation, it is completely modest. Someone will agree. And at this stage, the most critical data will be pulled from the victim in addition to the set already received. For payment, you will need to provide an email address and, most importantly, complete information about a bank card, including a CVV code. And now this data already allows you to get into the accounts of the victims and devastate them in your favor.

How scammers bred under the pretext of paying compensation for the lockdown

Opposition to the divorce scheme

It's pretty standard and applies to a wide range of tricks: anything that involves using a phishing site and free cheese as mousetrap bait.

  1. Do not let yourself be rushed into financial decisions and study tempting offers carefully. What website and email address are used?
  2. Check to see if the agency and regulation referenced in the letter actually exist.
  3. We strongly recommend that you do not follow the links to the websites of departments, even if the letter looks like a genuine one. It is much more reliable to find an Internet resource and the necessary sections on it yourself.
  4. Do not rush to enter the full details of a bank card if the reliability of the resource causes even the slightest concern.
  5. And finally, don't skimp on a quality antivirus: it can warn you about phishing and suspicious links.

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