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Residents of Brest region become victims of cybercriminals with increasing frequency

10.06.2021
In the period of the rapid development of the digital economy and global informatization, society is faced with a very serious and pressing problem – fraud on the Internet.

Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the number of crimes related to theft of funds with the use of computer technology.

If we express in numbers the general state of crime in the field of high technologies, then in five years, the number of registered crimes committed on the Internet in Brest region has increased by nearly 12 times.

There is no reason to believe that this year there will be a significant decrease in the number of criminal cases initiated for crimes in the field of high technologies, since already in the past period of 2021, 859 criminal cases were registered in the region, while in the same period last year – only 273 crimes.

The increase in the number of registered crimes in this category was due to the active use by cybercriminals of such methods of theft of funds as vishing (callers pose as bank employees) and phishing (the use of spoofed Internet resources for stealing of confidential information), which are massively used to steal details of bank payment cards of citizens, and in the future, theft of funds therefrom.

As examples of the use of vishing can be taken a number of criminal cases initiated for calls from individuals posing as employees of law enforcement agencies and banks.

So, in January of this year, Brest interdistrict department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus opened a criminal case on the theft from a bank payment card of a 58-year-old resident of Brest of funds in the amount of more than 74 thousand rubles, which, in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, is an especially large amount. The investigator found that the victim provided the details of access to bank payment cards to the attacker personally during a telephone conversation, after the interlocutor introduced himself as an employee of one of the banks and reported about the alleged debiting of funds from the victim's card account.

When asked to provide the login and password for access to Internet banking, the victim provided the attacker with photographs depicting the necessary information.

During the investigation of the criminal case, it was established that the attacker called a 67-year-old resident of Brest from the same phone number. More than 67 thousand rubles, which the pensioner had been saving for a long time, were stolen from his card account in a similar way.

Investigative practice has recently been faced with increasing frequency with situations when attackers call victims posing as law enforcement officers.

For example, on May 21, a 41-year-old resident of Brest region received a call in Viber messenger from a man who introduced himself as an employee of the Investigative Committee. During the conversation, he told the victim that they were trying to steal money from her card account. And in order to cancel the operation and identify the thief, the interlocutor insistently asked to name the bank card details, which the victim did. Subsequently, the woman discovered that an online loan was issued in her name, and almost 10 thousand rubles were stolen from the card account.

Unfortunately, these cases are not isolated, and every day citizens who have suffered from the actions of cybercriminals turn to the investigative units of Brest region.

It is noteworthy that in all cases the victims were called from telephone line numbers of mobile operators of a foreign state. Most often, the attackers used instant messengers for calls, where they used the logos of Belarusian banks as a screensaver.

Phishing was most widespread during the pandemic, when using Kufar trading platform.

So, in October 2020, a resident of Brest region complained to the law enforcement agencies and reported that fraudsters had stolen more than 1,000 rubles from his bank card.

It was established that the victim's wife posted an advertisement for the sale of property on Kufar trading platform. On the day of posting information about the product in the platform chat, a potential buyer wrote to her, during the correspondence he expressed a desire to purchase the product, while using the Internet delivery service.

When the woman's consent was obtained, the attacker continued further communication in Viber, where he provided a phishing link visually similar to the website of RUE "Belpost".

The victim, following the link, entered the details of her bank card in order to receive funds, but after a while she discovered the loss of money from the card account.

Brest interdistrict department of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus opened a criminal case under Part 2, Art. 212 (theft with the of use of computer technology, associated with unauthorized access to computer information) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Investigators note that the complexity and duration of the investigation of criminal cases in this category are primarily due to the need to send international requests and instructions for the provision of legal assistance, as cybercriminals often use foreign platforms to transfer stolen money.

The Investigative Committee once again recalls that in order not to become a victim of cybercriminals, one must follow a number of simple rules.

Department of Procedural Control of the Investigative Committee
Administration for Brest Region
Information and Public Relations Department