In St. Petersburg, Internet scammers sold rags and sand instead of appliances

In St. Petersburg, a group of swindlers was detained, who for four years had been engaged in deceiving buyers of online stores, sending rags and sand by mail instead of equipment. This was announced on Monday, February 20, in the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.

The group included five Petersburgers aged 29 to 35: a buyer of wholesale consignments of goods, a creator of online stores, two organizers, and a “specialist” in advertising placement and promotion.

“They built websites for online stores that offered good quality textile products, as well as electronics with attractive options or features. In reality, textile products were sewn in a handicraft way from cheap raw materials in the city of Ivanovo. Cheap electronic equipment was purchased in bulk through resellers from various regions of Russia,” the ministry said.

The average purchase receipt was 4-5 thousand rubles. It was possible to receive the order by mail only after payment. In the parcel, the victims found cheap rags, the simplest equipment, and even bags of sand or earth, which were added for weight.

Four deceived buyers contacted the police. According to their statements, a criminal case was initiated under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Fraud committed by an organized group”. According to investigators, dozens of people could be involved in the criminal scheme, and about 150 people from 30 regions of Russia could become victims of fraudsters.

Computer equipment with customer databases, two cars, bags with samples of products sold, and two million rubles were confiscated from the apartments and rented offices of the suspects. Warehouses were also found in Moscow and the Moscow region and the so-called “call centers”, which were operated from the territory of Moldova and Tatarstan.

Earlier, at the end of January, a network of fraudulent “call centers” was exposed in Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg. Fraudsters under the guise of employees of non-existent banks called citizens and offered to apply for a loan. Then, under various pretexts, they received money from their victims, after which they disappeared. At least 57 people suffered from the actions of fraudsters.

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