Internet users in Russia have been targeted by an email campaign advertising the launch of an alleged state-issued cryptocurrency. Potential victims are encouraged to follow a link to the fraudulent investment scheme’s website, security experts said.
Thousands of investment offers are luring Russians to put money into a non-existent cryptocurrency
Fraudsters are sending emails to Russian residents claiming to be writing on behalf of a regulatory body about the upcoming launch of the “Russian state cryptocurrency,” TASS news agency reported reportedciting Kaspersky Lab.
“With such messages, attackers lure users to resources where they risk losing money,” the cybersecurity firm explained. Several thousand of these emails were sent by the end of February, the antivirus vendor revealed.
The fraudulent emails claim that Russia is preparing to introduce a state-issued cryptocurrency and encourage recipients to follow a link to the coin’s investment program website. The site also presents a project allegedly developed by Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, the most popular messenger in the crypto community.
The platform offers visitors a fake chance to invest in the project and earn even more in the future. In reality, the deposits made by the victim go to the fraudsters. Investors will receive nothing in return and risk compromising confidential information shared with the website.
Russian tech giant Mail.ru’s anti-spam systems block more than 200,000 emails from crypto-related scams every day, according to the CTO of the group’s business division. About 15% of them are disguised as letters allegedly sent on behalf of regulators, Andrey Sumin specified.
To avoid falling victim to such a scam, experts recommend that users improve their digital literacy in the first place, use a security solution for their smartphone and computer, be careful with the content of emails and refrain from clicking on links from unknown sources or entering sensitive data on suspicious websites.
The Central Bank of Russia is working on a project to issue a digital version of the national fiat currency. The digital ruble will be the third form of Russian money besides cash and electronic bank money. It will be used for payments, not investments.
In February, the monetary authorities announced plans to begin testing it with real users and transactions on April 1, aiming for a full boot in 2024, Russia is still not comprehensive regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
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