The Russian Central Bank claims that “virtually all financial scams now have a crypto theme”
According to the Russian Central Bank, “nearly all” of the financial frauds discovered last year included cryptocurrency.
The bank said in a press statement that financial frauds increased by over 16% in 2023 compared to the previous year. The bank claimed to have found a cryptocurrency “theme” in “nearly” all of the cases.
The bank expressed concern over the increasing “number of unlawful actors in the financial industry who employ crypto themes” and posted:
“Every other pseudo-investment project in 2022 either took cryptocurrencies as payment or had some connection to it. Almost every pyramid scheme and illicit broker in 2023 accepted crypto as payment or offered cryptoassets as investment.”
According to the Central Bank, there were 5,735 organizations in 2023 that “exhibited indications of illicit operations.” This includes corporations, initiatives, individual entrepreneurs, and others.
There were a lot of “signs” that pointed to the fact that they were financial pyramids. Nevertheless, the bank did mention a positive aspect, even if the number of such initiatives had increased dramatically.
It said that scam projects’ “lifespan” had “gotten shorter” and that victims were “on average” bearing less financial harm.
The banking watchdog claimed it “blocked” over 11,200 websites in response to Russians’ “access” requests.
The website claimed that the owners were “operators of financial pyramids” and “illegal players in the financial industry.”
Many of the “more than 125 criminal cases” that the bank said it had filed against alleged Russian financial con artists used cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency-related subjects.
Officials in the legal system have also announced the opening of “620 administrative cases” investigating alleged wrongdoing.
Additionally, the bank has announced its collaboration with the Federal Antimonopoly Service. It is also collaborating with Roskomnadzor, the country’s censorship agency.
Several crypto-related games, social media chatrooms, (suspected) fake exchanges, and (suspected) crypto trading bot frauds are on the public list of financial scams and pyramid schemes that the bank has identified.
There are a number of companies on the list that seem to be running scams related to cryptocurrency mining.
Typical funding requests from these projects go toward what seem to be fraudulent crypto mining facilities in Siberia.