Most cases of theft of money from the accounts of citizens do not imply the possibility of returning them back.
In the first quarter of 2022, the Bank of Russia recorded an increase in the volume of theft of money by fraudsters – in three months they stole 3.3 billion rubles from accounts. The citizens managed to return a smaller part – only 204 million rubles. The percentage of return was the lowest on record, and this may be due to the increased incidence of new social engineering schemes.
Social engineering is a scheme of deception where the victim is persuaded to give out card details or make a transfer on their own. The problem is that from the point of view of the bank, it is believed that the transfer is initiated by the client himself – therefore, he cannot claim a refund of what was stolen (this is true for 99% of cases of such fraud). Social engineering accounts for 52.5% of all fraud.
Fraudsters are especially active in using such schemes, using ATMs and bank terminals. The share of operations using social engineering was 47.2% (against about 20% in previous years). Unlike well-known phone fraud schemes, when attackers use ATMs and self-service devices, it is more difficult to trace.
For example, we wrote about a fraud scheme using QR codes to withdraw cash from Tinkoff Bank. The victim was tricked into creating such a code and sending it to scammers – you can use it to withdraw cash from an ATM without a card and a PIN code.
Besides, you can steal money through ATMs by persuading the client to send them to a supposedly “safe account” – the use of a self-service device in fraud is unfamiliar to the public, and many agree to it. It is almost impossible to return the money stolen in this way – from the point of view of the bank, the client made a transfer or replenished the bank account indicated by him. This is probably why the share of money returned to their owners has decreased so significantly.
Experts explain the increase in the number of cases of fraud not only by poor information about its new methods, but also by the departure of international payment systems from Russia. Among other things, the victims of fraud were shocked by the new sanctions and the risk of losing their savings, so they were more willing to believe the assurances of the scammers to “save” their money by redirecting it to “safe accounts”.