Economic online games – a new threat to the wallets of Russians
The Central Bank recorded the growth of financial pyramids in Russia.
Recently, economic online games have become popular in Russia, which promise quick and easy earnings on the Internet. However, this hides a dangerous financial fraud scheme that can lead to the loss of all invested funds.
How clarified in the press service of the Central Bank, more than 22% of illegal projects successfully attracted users under the pretext of quick and easy money, based on the “pay and win” format. The Central Bank emphasized that a characteristic feature of such projects is the absence of a competitive element.
According to the bank’s specialists, the growth of financial pyramids is associated with the current economic situation, as well as the interest of the population in additional sources of income. However, they noted that the Bank of Russia is actively working to improve the monitoring system in order to identify and stop the activity of financial pyramids on the Internet. According to the Central Bank, more than 98% of fraudulent Internet projects can be detected on average three to five days after the start of their active promotion in social networks.
At the moment, about 100 different formats of such financial games are known. The creators of gaming applications often promise a quick opportunity to make money by taking part in a computer game – a business simulation. Some of these projects include Golden Mines, Rich Birds, Plants vs Zombies Mining Farm and others.
Their organizers assure that with an investment of 2-5 thousand rubles and the proper skills of a strategist, you can develop your gaming business and get real money with the possibility of withdrawing it. At the same time, income is created either by attracting new players who will make purchases, or by increasing the purchases of existing participants.
However, this is nothing more than a hoax. As soon as the flow of new users and funds decreases or stops, the game closes and all invested money disappears. Sometimes a game can pay out small amounts for a while, but no more than three to six months, since a project rarely lives for more than a year. And if the game has just appeared, in order to withdraw money, they are asked to replenish the balance and attract a certain number of referrals, then this is a clear sign of fraud.
According to experts, the damage from such games can reach $5-6 million. Every year, Russians lose more than 100 billion rubles from the actions of financial pyramids. At the same time, both the number of pyramids and the number of victims are growing. For the first half of 2023, the Central Bank identified 2,449 entities with signs of illegal activity, of which 1,139 are financial pyramids.
Fraudsters actively use social networks and instant messengers to promote their projects, targeting offers based on the age and preferences of potential participants. They also revive some old formats:
“For example, they offer a job that, in fact, will involve attracting other participants in a “super investment” project,” the regulator said. “But first you need to go through “training” for money, then attract newcomers, and if they also agree to pay for “training”, then part of these funds will be transferred to you.”
Most often, pensioners fall for the bait, but, as practice shows, the younger generation has also become more likely to “invest” in pyramid schemes.
Experts advise to be careful not to believe the promises of high returns with minimal risks, ambiguity about profits and heavy dependence on attracting new participants. These are serious signs of suspicion that require additional verification. People should be aware that pyramid schemes are a road to nowhere, on which only the founder of the scheme makes a profit, and the rest of the participants are doomed to lose their funds.
To combat this practice, it is necessary to create special commissions or organizations that will control and regulate financial transactions with the possibility of investigating and preventing the activities of finpyramids. Also, according to experts, it is necessary to tighten the requirements for advertising and informing about financial instruments, including the mandatory provision of clear and complete information about the risks and possible consequences for investors. In addition, it is necessary to introduce mandatory licensing and registration of all financial organizations and investment companies, conduct regular audits and checks of their activities.