Wildberries paid for the unsold // Fraudsters stole 385 million rubles from the marketplace.

Wildberries turned to the metropolitan police with a request to initiate a criminal case against fraudsters, from whose actions he lost 385 million rubles. They registered on the marketplace as sellers, exhibited a non-existent product, and then, under the guise of buyers, tried to pay for it using inaccurate details. Nevertheless, the retailer transferred funds to the seller as if it were a successful transaction. Fraudulent schemes threaten almost all marketplaces interested in rapid growth, hence the miscalculation in working with new sellers, experts say.

Kommersant got acquainted with a copy of the statement of Wildberries LLC to the Internal Affairs Directorate for the North-West Administrative District of Moscow, in which the company asks to initiate a criminal case against the swindlers who actually stole more than 385 million rubles from it. The first photo of the application filed on June 4 was posted by the Banksta Telegram channel. In the press service of Wildberries, Kommersant confirmed the fact of contacting law enforcement agencies. Kommersant also sent a request to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The statement describes the following scheme: some persons, having joined the company’s offer, become sellers on the site, after which they post cards with non-existent goods at inflated prices on it. Further, the same persons, under the guise of buyers, place an order for these goods, but enter inaccurate data on the means of payment.

Wildberries transfers money to the seller as for a successful sale, the bank blocks the operation on the part of the false buyers, but the Wildberries money goes to the false sellers.

The mechanism of fraudsters is not described in more detail.

As Kommersant was told in the company’s press service, the new fraudulent scheme was first used on the site in early April: transactions were made for an amount not exceeding several thousand rubles. “The massive attack was prepared and carried out by fraudsters in the last week of May, but the scheme was immediately identified. The company immediately turned to law enforcement, as well as to specialized supervisory authorities in order to inform the market about the existence of new fraudulent schemes and so that other online retail participants would not suffer from them, ”Wildberries explained. The cybercriminals who left their “digital traces” have already been identified, and law enforcement agencies are actively investigating, the company added, noting that none of the real buyers or sellers were hurt.

The revenue of Wildberries LLC in 2020, according to the Federal Tax Service, amounted to 169.8 billion rubles, net profit – 2.1 billion rubles. Wildberries’ turnover, according to the company, grew by 96% in 2020 and amounted to 437.2 billion rubles.

According to a Kommersant source in one of the largest companies in the online retail market, such fraudulent schemes threaten almost all marketplaces to one degree or another. The problem is in the insufficient level of verification of data provided by sellers and buyers, he notes.

Fraudulent schemes occur almost every day and not only in the online retail market, but also in the same banks, confirms Alexander Ivanov, president of the National Distance Selling Association.

“There is a kind of growth rate problem here. A year and a half ago, to get to the marketplace, you had to come and submit all the documents in person. Now, of course, such a scheme looks outdated, and issues should be resolved online. So miscalculations in such interaction are possible, ”the expert argues.

He believes the Wildberries have a good chance of getting their money back.

The case initiated by Wildberries will be difficult to investigate its circumstances: a significant number of investigative and operational measures will have to be taken, says Dmitry Gorbunov, partner of Rustam Kurmaev & Partners. “A crime that caused such a large amount of damage could have been committed only by a group of persons by prior conspiracy with a high degree of organization of interaction between the accomplices. Moreover, the technology of committing a crime implies that the criminals were well aware of the specifics of the production mechanism and internal processes of both the company most affected by their actions and the nuances of the payment system, ”the lawyer adds.

Dmitry Shestoperov

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