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More than 20 persons involved in money stealing with the use of vishing were detained (+ VIDEO)

A briefing was held at the Investigative Committee today, on April 23, 2021, at which were announced of a criminal case investigation details on stealing of funds from citizens of the Republic of Belarus with the use of their bank payment cards details.

Administration of the Investigative Committee for the city of Minsk is investigating a criminal case initiated on the fact of commission of fraud on an especially large scale. In one proceeding, more than 100 criminal cases have been consolidated, and at present, more than 30 are currently under study to consider their consolidation.

According to the materials of the criminal case, unidentified persons organized the so-called call-centers, which representatives, having information about mobile telephone line numbers and other personal data of citizens of the Republic of Belarus, for a long period of time (more than a year) made phone calls via virtual numbers of foreign telecom operators, or via Viber messenger.

In their criminal activities, unknown persons used the most common method of deceiving citizens in the last year. When communicating, they introduce themselves as employees of banks of our country and provide false information about theft from bank accounts. After that, the callers offer citizens, to prevent unauthorized transactions, either to provide the details of their cards, or to transfer funds from their account to the one provided by them, or to provide access to the remote banking system with the account and report the codes that come to the phone, and sometimes to install a special application for remote administration on the smartphone.

At the same time, after seizing the necessary information, attackers have the opportunity to steal funds by making payments for goods in various online stores, transferring funds to accounts controlled by them and payment cards registered in the name of dummy individuals – drops (money mules).

After that, led by the organizers of the criminal scheme and drops supervisors, money is usually obtained in cash from ATMs of the Republic of Belarus by “cashiers”, which can be both the drops themselves and the drop supervisors. Then, with the deduction of an interest on the amount of funds received (usually from 2 to 10%), the money is transferred to representatives of the so-called bits - persons who exchange funds for cryptocurrency and then transfer it to the organizers' electronic wallets.

Thanks to the well-coordinated and diligent work of law enforcement officers, in the spring of this year, more than 20 persons involved in the above criminal scheme were detained. They turned out to be young people between the ages of 18 and 32. Two of them are citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan, one is a citizen of Georgia, and the other are Belarusians. Almost all of them do not work or study anywhere. The detainees played the role of drops, drop supervisors and cashiers.

Currently, 15 persons have been charged under Part 4 Article 212 (theft by using computer hardware, committed on an especially large scale) and Part 4 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (fraud committed on an especially large scale). Pre-trial restrictions in the form of detention were applied to them. Another 8 people remain in the status of suspects.

In the criminal case, more than 100 citizens were recognized as victims, who suffered damage in the total amount of more than a million rubles. So, in some episodes, the amount of damage ranged from 9 thousand rubles to 200 thousand US dollars.

Administration of the Investigative Committee for the city of Minsk in cooperation with the Main Administration for Combating Cybercrime of the Criminal Militia of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, takes necessary investigative and law enforcement intelligence-gathering activities aimed at identification and bringing to justice of all persons involved in this criminal activity, establishment of all episodes of this activity, detection and seizure of property, obtained by criminal means.

For three months of this year, 5,859 criminal cases were initiated in Belarus (26.6% of the total number of criminal cases initiated) under Article 212 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, for the same period of 2020 - 2,266 criminal cases (8.94%).

Remember, anyone can fall victim to phishing!

Information and Public Relations Department
Official representative of Administration of the Investigative Committee for the city of Minsk
Ekaterina Garlinskaya