Fraudsters have opened the tourist season – Kommersant FM

Fraudsters have opened the tourist season – Kommersant FM

Fraudsters began to more actively use the tourism theme; VTB spoke about how the scheme works. The attackers pose as employees of hotel booking or ticket search services and allegedly offer to be a “secret shopper,” that is, evaluate the quality of services for a fee. The potential victim is then persuaded to undergo a fake interview, asked to join a video conference and enable screen sharing, and then apply for a new card in a banking application specifically for work. This is how attackers gain access to sensitive information.

Although the scheme is not new, since the beginning of 2024, clients began to complain about it 30% more often, VTB calculated. Fraudsters are believed, among other things, because the services actually have “mystery shopper” programs, explains Pavel Myasoedov, director of the IT-Reserve company: “Ordinary people, in a legal manner, are periodically offered to make some kind of assessment of a particular hotel and get paid for it in the form of cashback, some points or real money bonus. Criminals understand that traditional schemes are beginning to function worse, the old funnel no longer works so effectively, they need to come up with something new.

Why come up with some new scheme that is completely unknown to man? Criminals take a different path: they take something that has already functioned in the legal field, slightly transform this model and try to convince the common man. Taking into account the fact that the scheme actually worked in the legal field, it is more aimed not at the older generation, but, on the contrary, at more mobile young people who love to travel. Many of those who were previously less targeted by scammers are beginning to fall for this scheme, or at least participate in it.”

How effective is this scheme? The head of the Zecurion analytical center, Vladimir Ulyanov, considers it quite complex, which means that scammers will not be able to steal money from many potential victims: “Now, closer to summer, people are really starting to think about vacations, look for resources, and the offer of scammers to evaluate the service fits quite well with this trend. But this is a rather labor-intensive scheme; some potential victims will be cut off in the process.

Not every person can handle it; some will not be able to perform the actions required by the attacker. In addition, there are many steps, not just one or two, where you can quickly monetize. The more stages, the higher the likelihood that the victim will fall off somewhere, and the smaller the so-called funnel between those who were initially caught and those who actually transferred the money or performed the action required by the attacker. A person will either engage in some kind of critical thinking, or he will turn to his loved ones for help, who will say, “What are you doing?”

According to the Central Bank, in 2023, fraudsters stole almost 16 billion rubles from the accounts of Russians. We managed to return less than 10% of this amount. At the same time, the volume of prevented fraudulent transactions amounted to approximately 6 trillion rubles.

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Ilya Sizov

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