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Scammers are spreading a fake Navalny letter to swindle people out of money

Source: Meduza

Following Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s death in prison on February 16, scammers started posing as supporters of Russian opposition leaders and sharing a fake letter they claim was written by Navalny. The fraudulent letter says that Navalny had been developing an initiative for five years to ensure Russia’s “financial well-being,” and encourages people to invest in the initiative — the money from which ends up in the pockets of scammers.

On Facebook, fake groups posing as supporters of Russian opposition leaders are posting a photo of a letter they claim was written by Alexey Navalny and addressed to his wife, Yulia. The post says that Navalny, before his death, “sent a letter to his wife, in which he said that he wants to share the initiative he’s been developing for five years and to use it to help fellow citizens provide for their families.”

The fake letter says that it’s likely Navalny will “soon no longer exist” and that his biggest wish is to “ensure the country’s financial well-being,” but notes that he failed to achieve this goal. However, the fraudulent letter continues, Navalny has spent five years preparing a “financial project,” and now he wants “everyone to know about this opportunity.”

A screenshot of a post on a fake Facebook group, posing as a page for supporters of exiled Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The page was made on February 19. Representatives for the real “Khodorkovsky LIVE” page told Meduza that “naturally, they haven’t shared anything like that.”

“Witnesses say the initiative makes up to 600 euros [$641] per day, trading assets from the largest companies with the help of artificial intelligence,” reads the fake letter. The post then includes a link which allegedly allows victims to download the “initiative” and start “earning.” The link, however, leads to a website run by scammers.

This specific scheme, which involves scammers posing as public figures who claim they want to share their knowledge about making “easy money” through investments, has been common across social media for many years.

After the victims of the scam access the link, they are then prompted to fill out a form with their personal information. A scammer then contacts them pretending to be a “personal manager” and convinces them to “invest” a certain amount in order to start earning “quick and easy income.” When the victim transfers money into the alleged “investment,” it actually ends up in the hands of scammers, who then promptly disappear.

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Translation by Sasha Slobodov

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