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Russian Police Warn Citizens About New Digital Ruble-themed Scam

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Russian Police Warn Citizens About New Digital Ruble-themed Scam

Russian police have warned citizens to be wary of a new digital ruble-themed scam intended to scare them into sending money to fraudsters.

Per a news report from Pravda and a Telegram post from the cybercrime unit of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, scammers are sending citizens messages that attempt to frighten them into action.

Russian Police: Beware Bogus Messages from Central Bank

Officers said that the messages claimed to come from the Russian Central Bank. The bank is currently piloting its digital ruble (CBDC) with a view to launching nationwide next year.

Police said that “attackers” warn victims that their cash and savings are in “an outdated format.”

The messages warn victims that these rubles “must be exchanged for digital currency.”

“To do this,” officers wrote, “people urgently need to transfer money to a special account.” If they fail to do this, the scammers warn that “the money in the citizen’s account will become unusable.” Police explained:

“The [digital] ruble is just a new form of the existing ruble. It does not render cash and bank account holdings obsolete. Any offers to exchange rubles for digital rubles or transfer them to a ‘safe account’ can only originate from scammers.”

Officers warned of an uptick in digital ruble-themed “attempts at fraud.” They claimed:

“There are many lies and outright untruths being told about the digital ruble. As this new type of currency emerges, users are beginning to encounter new fraudulent schemes.”

Central Bank Hopes to Roll Out CBDC in 2025

The Central Bank, however, has faced criticism for reportedly failing to keep citizens sufficiently updated on its digital ruble plans.

The bank hopes to test its token more fully in the second half of the year. Officials also state that they hope to complete cross-border CBDC pilots with “friendly” nations as they seek to de-dollarize the Russian trade sector.

The bank launched the first stage of its CBDC pilot last year in 11 cities nationwide. Some 20 state-run and privately owned banks are working with the Central Bank and its pilot project.