The number of Russian financial fraud schemes triples – Central Bank

The number of financial fraud schemes in Russia tripled in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, according to the Russian Central Bank said Wednesday.

Many illegal schemes included pyramid schemes, according to the regulator.

“Worried about the possibility of economic hardship, people sought new ways of investing, and in response to this ‘demand’, new financial pyramid schemes began to appear,” the Central Bank said in a statement.

Russia is set to slip into a deep recession this year amid the economic fallout from the decision to invade Ukraine and Western sanctions imposed in response to the military campaign.

Nearly 80% of identified fraud took place online, the Central Bank said.

Financial pyramid schemes traditionally become more popular in a context of growing poverty, declining incomes and a lack of options for savers.

Russian pyramid scheme Finico collapsed last year, resulting in a valued $100 million in losses for tens of thousands of ordinary people.

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