Another appearance by bitcoin scammers in Russia who, this time, hacked a government website by posting ads giving away BTC.
According to reports, the website of the local government of Ryazan, a city about 200 km from Moscow, was attacked by hackers twice in one day.
The bitcoin scammers allegedly posted an ad on the official government portal offering crypto to users who downloaded a special application.
Apparently, the scammers gave away 0.025 BTC to the first users who downloaded the app, and then changed the offer, advertising the “Ryazani online lottery” and raffling off a $1,000 BTC prize to the first five randomly selected participants.
At the moment, on the hacked government site the ad of bitcoin scammers has already disappeared, but screenshots of the publications that actually took place are circulating.
Russia and the numbers of the bitcoin scammers market
The market for bitcoin scammers in Russia appears to be growing, with the volume of crypto fraud amounting to $30 million (2.2 billion rubles) in 2021.
This is stated by experts from cybersecurity company Zecurion who have reported that crypto scams around the world have been very significant in 2021.
Specifically, in the first half of the year alone, the losses amounted to $1.5 billion, almost more than triple the amount recorded during the first half of 2020.
Still, Russia is very careful against crypto criminals. At the beginning of last July, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, Igor Krasnov, spoke in St. Petersburg at the conference of the heads of prosecutors of European states, saying that Russia was working on amendments to legislation on the confiscation of digital assets, as they are sources of income for criminals.
This is also possible because Russian legislation recognizes and allows the use of cryptocurrencies, but does not consider them as means of payment.
Very restrictively, crypto assets are defined in Russia as a set of electronic data that can be accepted as a means of payment, but there is not enough clarity on this issue to define them as such.
The record of crypto scams is in Eastern Europe
Russia, along with all Eastern European countries, is also on the record for crypto scams, according to a report by analyst firm Chainalysis, published last week.
According to the report, from July 2020 to June 2021, $815 million in crypto was sent from these countries to crypto scammers, or 0.5% of the total value sent and received in the region.
Not only that, more than half of this $815 million in crypto appears to have ended up in the infamous Russian Finiko scheme, which collapsed in July after swindling around $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin over two years.
Finiko was one of the largest crypto Ponzi schemes in history that promised investors returns in BTC and USDT of 30%. Only on 20 August, Moscow police managed to arrest Kirill Doronin, the founder of Finiko.