In Russia, it was proposed to create a register of channels of Telegram-bloggers
As the general director of the Association for the Development of Financial Literacy, Veniamin Kaganov, said, leading Russian bloggers in the field of finance and investments contacted the organization due to the fact that in Telegram scammers create fake channels and deceive users.
“There is a double theft. On the one hand, fraudsters violate copyright and copy the information and content of the original channels into clones. On the other hand, attract readers to pay for courses. The training programs are offered by the authors of the original channels, but the criminals replace the details for payment with their own,” the expert explained.
The basic scheme of content theft and scams selling courses under the name of an investment advisor or blogger consists of several stages. First, the scammer copies avatars and information from the author’s official account and places it in a specially created clone that is as similar as possible to the original (same name, appearance, etc.). For some time, the scammer tracks updates on the “parent” account and instantly duplicates them on his own. At the same time, the fraudster uses promotion services – simply put, it increases the number of views and likes.
As it fills up, the scammer parses users of official channels and chats of investor communities. This gives an influx of live users – potential victims, noted Veniamin Kaganov.
According to him, victims happen in two ways. The first: the author of the original channel / owner of the account publishes a message about admission to training courses and offers to go to the site for details. Criminals create a clone site where they enter their payment details. And upon payment, the readers’ money follows them. Second: Scammers occasionally post promotional ads among the duplicate messages of the official account, which also lead to fake sites imitating the author’s educational resources.
The ARFG expert group on the protection of the rights of retail investors has developed a mechanism that allows solving this problem.
“We want to suggest to the Telegram administration to make a register of public channels – creators of author’s content. How it can work: channel authors voluntarily disclose their data, and the registry mechanism tracks and records the fact that they publish original materials. For this, it is possible to embed a digital print into the graphic material. Thanks to this, the service could automatically detect the appearance of duplicate channels and block them in a timely manner,” explained the general director of the ARFG.
Currently, bloggers who create original content have almost no tools to fight clone fraudsters, other than going to court. And even then, with dubious prospects for the possibility of implementing their decisions. Therefore, the experts interviewed by “Izvestia” believe that mechanisms are needed that could protect both the authors of the original accounts and their subscribers.
But the implementation of the mechanism will depend entirely on the goodwill and willingness of Telegram to meet this initiative and put it into operation.