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Online consumer protection in Russia. Financial frauds

Due to the current epidemiological situation in the world, the difficult political and economic environment under sanctions, a lot of conflicting information in the media, lots of fraudsters have appeared who use a variety of scams* to make a profit on honest people.

Our lawyers often face situations when a consumer is deceived by purchasing goods online. Here are schemes of how to protect your consumption rights.

Examples of scams:

• A lot of sites have appeared on the Net offering to buy air purifiers or other “wonder devices” that remove viral pathogens from the air and prevent coronavirus infection. As a rule, there are no documents for these devices, or they turn out to have tried to sell you an ordinary air humidifier, a medical filter mask at a price ten times higher than that on the market.

• Offers to buy medicines or nutritional supplements that allegedly help against viruses:
We recommend that you do not come into contact with persons offering a "magic device" or "miracle pill". As a rule, scammers stop communicating if you start asking in more detail about the seller and manufacturer of the device, protocols for drug clinical trials. Be sure to warn that before buying you will definitely contact the manufacturer’s representatives in order to clarify the goods’ characteristics.


• Scammers often offer to buy various goods from well-known and reputable manufacturers online, taking a mandatory prepayment. After receiving the money, they do not deliver the goods.

• Offers or calls informing about contact with a confirmed virus carrier, demanding you undertake a paid test at home. In no case transfer money or provide your personal data for random people! Paid laboratories can conduct tests at home only at your own request, and such laboratories are licensed for this business activity and are not “nameless” – all information about them can be found on websites and in other open sources.

In all the above examples, we will competently and professionally help you protect your rights and return the money spent, as well as compensate for all goods or services purchase expenses. Do not hesitate to mail us:


1. If the goods purchased via the Internet turned out to be of improper quality, then the consumer has the same rights as in case of the "traditional" (offline) trade. The law provides for the possibility of replacing the goods with new ones, reducing the cost, as well as returning the defected goods to the seller.

2. The law provides for additional consumer protection when buying goods (and ordering services) through the so-called information about goods (services) aggregator websites (applications).

These include information resources on which the consumer can obtain information about the product (service), place an order and pay for it. An important feature of such resources is their responsibility for the accuracy of information about the actual seller (executor). In addition, through the aggregator’s owner, a prepayment refund for the goods can be issued if not delivered on time. To do this, you should notify the seller of the refusal to fulfill the contract due to the failure to fulfill the obligation to transfer the goods within the prescribed period.

3. The aggregators’ owners are responsible for the losses of the consumer due to inaccurate information about the product or the seller. At the same time, the Law names cases when they may be released from this liability. For example, if the aggregators’ owners did not change the information about the product (service), then the consumer's claim for compensation for losses caused by the product sale (or service provision) on the basis of incomplete or inaccurate information is to be addressed directly to the seller (service provider).

4. The Law also establishes cases in which the aggregator’s owner, at the consumer’s request, is obliged to return the amount of the advance payment for the goods (services).

In particular, these are situations when the goods have not been delivered (the service has not been provided) on time and the consumer, in this regard, sent the seller (executor) a refusal notice, informing the aggregator’s owner about this. The return of such an advance payment may be denied to the consumer if the seller provides goods transfer confirmation.

We advise you to always pay attention to the site section where the procedure for returning goods is indicated, whether the phone numbers for contacting the store employees are indicated, as well as the address to which you can, if necessary, lodge a claim.

❕ Attention! Goods bought on sale online are legally no different from other ones. They are also covered by a guarantee (warranty period), the right to return within 7 working days.


Among all types of fraud, financial fraud occupies a special place. There are so many tricks that scammers use to hunters for other people's money to get rich! With the active development of new technologies, financial fraud is also not standing still, adapting to modern conditions. Fraud has taken on an intellectual character these days. Scammers use not only new technologies, but also the most modern psychological techniques, such as neuro-linguistic programming.

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation defines fraud (Rus. мошенничество) as “the theft of another's property or the acquisition of the right to another's property by deceit or breach of trust” (clause 1, article 159 of the Criminal Code).

Victims of fraud often voluntarily transfer their money and other property to the ill-minded person, sincerely mistaking who and why they are doing this.

The specificity of financial fraud lies in the area of relations in which this fraud is committed – that is the sphere of various payment cards and other means of payment, obtaining and issuing loans, attracting investments and other financial (monetary) relations.

Modern financial frauds are diverse:

⚠ Internet fraud
⚠ Fraud involving bank cards
⚠ Ponzi schemes
⚠ Real estate market fraud (“double sales”, sales of apartments in illegally built houses, etc.).

All frauds in the financial sector have one thing in common: criminals without any coercion, with the consent of the deceived people themselves, receive money. At the same time, the victims think that they are transferring their money in exchange for some legal benefits – real estate, goods in online stores, inheritance, etc. In fact, there are no “legal benefits”, people just lose their money without getting anything in return. Malefactors also initially know that they have no legal grounds for receiving money and other property from their victims.

The most common types of financial fraud are:

Trading insider information. Employees of banks, ministries, regulators both sell information that can affect a particular company’s stock quotes on the securities market, and, having this data, make such transactions, making illegal profits.

It is noteworthy that such trading is unlikely to be recognized as fraud, but the sale under the guise of insiders, deliberately false information will definitely be qualified as financial fraud in accordance with Art. 159 of the Criminal Code;

Financial reporting fraud. By distorting accounting or financial records, fraudsters deceive investors, forcing them to buy enterprises or shares at a deliberately inflated value.

In Russia, one has to prove that the reporting was forged precisely with the intent to obtain financial gain, and it was received. Then article 159 of the Criminal Code can be applied, but in case of banks and other companies involved, article 172.1 “Falsification of financial documents of accounting and reporting of a financial organization” can also be applied;

Any methods of raising funds with paying interest and income, knowingly exceeding the market supply, which cease to be paid at a certain moment. Ponzi schemes (such as the famous Vlastilina), various credit cooperatives and affiliate programs are famous for such frauds.

Here we can also note a relatively new way of financing startup projects, crowdfunding, if the funds were initially raised without the intention to offer an equivalent compensation for them – a product or a participation interest.

Credit fraud. It includes obtaining a loan by providing false reporting, its deliberate non-return followed by company bankruptcy, and collateral fraud.

Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, such acts can also be qualified under Art. 159. of the Criminal Code and under Art. 159.1 (special article on lending fraud), and under article 176 of the Criminal Code "Illegal loan receipt", and also, additionally, under Art. 196 of the Criminal Code "Intentional bankruptcy".

Our lawyers will help, within the framework of a criminal case, to provide highly qualified protection to you as a victim if you stumble upon a consumption financial fraudster. We will also help you make a competent claim against the seller or manufacturer of goods, as well as go to court to protect your rights and legitimate interests. Contact us:
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4, room 308

* In the article, the words “fraud” and “scam” are used interchangeably to designate the term “мошенничество” in Russian law.
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