About how Kazanorgsintez counters cloned websites

Financial damage from the actions of fraudsters range from 80,000 rubles to 200,000 dollars

About how Kazanorgsintez counters cloned websites Photo: Roman Khasaev

Scammers in Russia often create clone websites of well-known industrial enterprises, through which they offer products at a price lower than the market one. Newly opened companies often accept a tempting offer. So, scammers have repeatedly copied websites of Kazanorgsintez. Despite the fact that it is not so easy to find organizers of the fraudulent scheme, preventive work of Kazanorgsintez allowed to reduce the number of crimes related to cloned websites. Read more details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Caution — scammers!

The website of Kazanorgsintez PJSC meets visitors with a bright yellow pop-up window warning about possible cases of fraud with cloned websites of the petrochemical enterprise. Unknown persons through similar platforms in the Network allegedly on behalf of representatives of the company ''sold'' products at a price below the market one. Scammers sent letters from e-mail addresses similar in writing and sound to the original mail address of the enterprise, specifying in the texts fake phone numbers. Companies wishing to save on the products of KOS lapped up and without a personal meeting with the company transferred an advance payment on a specified account.

''A fictitious agreement on fake letterhead paper, similar to documents of Kazanorgsintez, were concluded with the merchants. Communication was mostly virtual: via fax, e-mail. The buyers transferred a deposit on the account specified in the letter, but in the end did not receive polyethylene and could not return the advance payment. Only after the fraud was revealed, would-be entrepreneurs began searching for real phone numbers of Kazanorgsintez, and reached us,'' deputy director general for economic security and regime at Kazanorgsintez PJSC Rostislav Sarkisov told Realnoe Vremya.

Such scheme is used by fraudsters in relation to other large industrial enterprises of Tatarstan and Russia as well. At the same time, almost all IP addresses of the phones listed in mailouts and posted on cloned websites are registered in Europe. Therefore, it can be difficult to block them.

Such scheme is used by fraudsters in relation to other large industrial enterprises of Tatarstan and Russia as well. Photo: provided by Kazanorgsintez PJSC press service

One of the cloned websites, similar to the official page of Kazanorgsintez PJSC, was revealed by the enterprise security service in 2016. The website address was similar to the original, contained changed contact numbers, email addresses. Due to the appeal of Kazanorgsintez to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan, the clone website was blocked, as well as 10 phone numbers, 15 e-mail addresses specified by fraudsters. All fake addresses and phone numbers from which fake letters with fake seals were sent are published on the company's website to ensure that partner companies are aware that these contact details belong to scammers. The information was also sent to current and potential customers of Kazanorgsintez.

11 phone numbers of scammers detected in 2018

Despite the fact that the economic security service of Kazanorgsintez repeatedly warned of frauds, products at reduced prices lures new would-be entrepreneurs who forget that free cheese is only in a mousetrap. In 2017, the list of Kazanorgsintez was replenished with 12 phone numbers and 14 e-mail addresses of scammers. In 2018, 11 telephone numbers were detected, five of which acted on behalf of TAIF Group. Also, this year three e-mail addresses have been identified.

The victims are mostly residents of Russia. However, this year the actions of fraudsters affected entrepreneurs from Lithuania. They turned to the ministry of internal affairs for help. At the request of Realnoe Vremya about the incident, the press service of the ministry reported that a criminal case under the article 159 part 4 of the criminal code was initiated. ''Currently, measures are being taken to identify persons involved in the commission of the crime. Due to the fact that the preliminary investigation in the criminal case is not completed and the persons to be involved as accused are not established, the disclosure of these data is contrary to the interests of the preliminary investigation,'' the press service of the ministry of internal affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan commented on the request.

The amount of financial damage that the creators of Kazanorgsintez twin sites caused to the victims varies from 80 thousand rubles to 200 thousand dollars. In 2016, there were seven such cases, in 2017 — 17, in 2018 — 9. If not the active actions of the enterprise to prevent the actions of fraudsters, there could have been much more deceived entrepreneurs.

Warned means protected

Of course, scammers cannot cause financial damage to Kazanorgsintez, but the reputation of one of the largest petrochemical enterprises of Tatarstan comes under attack, so the company does everything to protect the image. The official website of Kazanorgsintez is protected by a security certificate. Pop-ups inform about possible actions of criminals. Due to the mailout of KOS, injured entrepreneurs or companies that have received letters from scammers apply to the enterprise. Thus, the database of phone numbers and addresses of scammers on the company's website is constantly updated.

The economic security service of Kazanorgsintez works on prevention of such cases. ''We have a form of protection related to documents. Our letters are different in a structural paper medium, the font that we use in the contract. In the course of preventive measures, messages come with a request to confirm that the mailout of the sale of products comes from us. We answer that these are scammers and offer to contact law enforcement agencies on the fact of attempted fraud,'' Rostislav Sarkisov said, reminding that Kazanorgsintez distributes products only through the site Onlinecontract.

The official website of Kazanorgsintez is protected by a security certificate. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Thanks to preventive and information work, the number of appeals from victims of fraud has decreased. If entrepreneurs still transfer money for ''products'', the investigating authorities decide to initiate criminal proceedings and start an investigation. During the investigation of the criminal case, the necessary complex of investigative and operational measures aimed at identifying fraudsters and punishing them is carried out. The twin sites and fake phone numbers are blocked. Of course, scammers later create new ones, but the work of law enforcement agencies still hinders their activities.

Victims of scams are mostly new companies that purchase petrochemical production of the Tatarstan producers for the first time. To avoid such risks, it is necessary to arrange a personal meeting with the representatives of the company, to learn more about its work and to study the website of Kazanorgsintez.

By Ekaterina Gumarova
Tatarstan