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Apartments and business are stolen through electronic signatures: ways to protect yourself and your loved ones
With the development of new technologies, methods of committing crimes are also being improved. Now criminals, without leaving home, can deprive a citizen of his home or register for him a one-day company. This was made possible thanks to the use of electronic signatures and the imperfection of the legislation that regulates relations in this area. Now the authorities are trying to save the situation with the help of new amendments. And experts tell how to protect themselves from "technological" fraud.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, fraud using electronic digital signature (EDS) has become a new trend in the past two years. Potential victims of such actions are modern business people, most often businessmen, claims the former Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee for particularly important matters, and now Alexei Novikov, a partner in AB ZKS. One of the most common schemes is when cybercriminals fraudulently issue electronic signatures in the name of other people. Those do not even suspect about it.
An electronic signature is a digital analogue of a handwritten signature with which you can sign electronic documents. This is a certain guarantee that the document was sent from a specific person and that it has not changed since it was signed.
Unreliable Signature Centers and Dangerous Viruses
According to the statistics of the SRO “Microfinance and Development”, in the first half of 2019, every seventh complaint (15.4%) regarding the work of microfinance organizations related to the issue of loans to a third party using electronic signatures. For the same period last year, the figure was only 4.7%. The number of such crimes is growing, including through the fault of employees of certification centers that issue signatures. Roman Kuznetsov, director of the legal department of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, told Izvestia that their department regularly inspects such companies and fines or deprives them of accreditation for violations.

Moreover, there are certification authorities that are specifically designed for fraudulent schemes, says Alexey Lukatsky, Cisco Systems Security Advisor: “You don’t know at all that someone is processing something for you. The fraudster will indicate his number so that he receives notifications, and not to you. ” The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media demands a reduction in the number of such centers to 10-15 organizations and criminal penalties for a number of violations for their employees. Now only administrative responsibility is provided for certification centers. If a specialized company has violated the procedure for issuing an electronic signature, then it can be fined 10,000-30,000 rubles.
Another popular way that scammers use is to use already issued electronic signatures owned by bona fide users. The simplest scheme is when an employee of an enterprise uses the company's digital signature to steal money from the organization. In the practice of lawyer Alexei Serdyuk from ICA, Knyazev and partners had a case where the crime was committed by the chief accountant of the company, who worked there for more than 10 years. The employee, who had never had any complaints, transferred the funds of the company to the accounts of other companies controlled by her through a bank-client. The investigation took 2.5 years, the lawyer said. Although the attacker received four years in prison, it was not possible to return the stolen money.

There are trickier schemes when they create virus programs that infect users' computers. This happens when they click on pop-up "windows" when they visit websites or open letters from suspicious senders. A malicious application can also be downloaded to the computer of the company's chief accountant, warns senior lawyer AB Zabeyda and partners Dmitry Aleksashin. When the financier sends the next payment to the bank, the virus will automatically change the details of the payee to the scammers' accounts. And the document signed by electronic signature will confirm the sending of money to one-day firms, which are controlled by intruders, the expert explains.

Lose an apartment or become the owner of a "one-day"
You can get such a signature in one of the 500 certification centers. In some organizations, the procedure will be conducted over the Internet without a personal presence. As 47News found out, issuing an EDS for another person is very simple. If SNILS and passport data are known, then several thousand rubles and Photoshop are enough. Journalist Julia Gilmshina acquired a signature for the general director of the publication. The third company, where she turned, went to meet an employee whose boss "does not want to engage in bureaucracy." As a result, the journalist was given an EDS for a person who himself didn’t go anywhere and, according to legend, knew nothing.

The advantages of electronic signature
“Forging it is much more difficult than handwriting.” “The procedure for preparing, delivering and storing documents is becoming cheaper, and the time it takes to move is significantly reduced.” The volume of paper work is being reduced.
Such situations were possible due to a gap in the law, explains Nikita Rozhentsov of Alliance Legal CG: “The certification authority is required to establish the identity of the recipient of the certificate, but the method of such a procedure is not regulated." This legal uncertainty does not allow us to unambiguously determine who contacted the accredited company for signature - the real owner of the passport or the attacker with the stolen photocopy. So, unknown scammers signed for Roman Saltovsky, and then “presented” his Moscow apartment to a resident of Ufa. After that, the electronic transaction was registered in Rosreestr.

The victim found out about the change of ownership only after he received the next receipt with an unknown last name. Now Saltovsky returns the apartment in court, he demands to recognize the disputed gift agreement as an invalid transaction (case No. 02-3237 / 2019). In parallel, the police are looking for attackers who have carried out such fraud. With the help of such schemes, while companies can register for a citizen. Three firms in Pavel Zimakov and his spouse were issued in different Russian regions, and also took loans from microfinance organizations. In this case, law enforcement officers are also being investigated.

Popular e-signature scams
In the field of real estate: the owner loses property as a result of a transaction that he did not actually make. It is a contract of gift or sale.
In the field of state registration of legal entities: a business owner, contrary to his will, ceases to be the head of the organization or vice versa when an individual becomes the nominal head of a one-day company.
In the field of lending: fraudsters receive microloans on behalf of others.
In the field of public procurement: competitors steal an electronic key to limit the admission of a particular organization to procurement procedures.

Legislator Prevention
There are two main reasons why such crimes occur, Serdyuk believes. Firstly, the insufficient identification by the employees of the certification centers of their clients and the irresponsible attitude of the EDS holders themselves towards the “keys”. The legislator is already fighting the first problem. At the end of July, the State Duma adopted a law according to which the homeowner will need to contact the Rosreestr and personally approve the transfer of the right to an apartment in electronic form (or a notarized statement by mail). Then the registration authority will make a special mark in the register. If it does not exist and at the same time someone tries to transfer the rights to real estate electronically, then the Rosreestr will refuse to approve the deal.

LEGISLATION As a new law protects against theft of apartments with EDS
But the head of the practice is “Real Estate. Land. Construction ” KIAP AB Sergey Popov believes that these amendments will not be able to seriously hinder apartment thieves:“ To obtain an electronic signature, you must pass the identity check of the recipient, that is, fraudsters can’t do without forgery at this stage either. What creates the law? Only one new stage for fraud and fraud. “ If the criminals have the ingenuity to get the electronic signature of the owner, then they can submit to the Rosreestr a notification about the possibility of registration with the help of EDS, Popov warns.

Another legislative initiative establishes requirements for the accreditation procedure and the activities of certification centers (CAs). They want to establish a minimum size of the authorized capital of at least 1 billion rubles for them, and if there are branches in at least three quarters of the subjects of Russia, then 500 million rubles. In addition, such companies must have a high threshold for insurance of their activities. The accreditation period of the center will be reduced to three years. In this case, legal entities will be issued electronic signatures by the CA of the Federal Tax Service, and credit organizations - by the CA of the Central Bank.

Personal protection
Not only new amendments, but also the attentiveness of citizens themselves can protect against such crimes. Firstly, you need to carefully store documents with personal data and not transfer them to strangers. Secondly, apply to the tax office with a ban on registering legal entities in your name without a personal presence. Care must be taken to all electronic payments: to limit their amounts and activate SMS notification of all operations on the account. In addition, it is better to get EDS in large certification centers that have a positive reputation. Managing Partner of Pavel Khlyustov & Partners JB Pavel Khlyustov advises to constantly check information from registers in which property rights are registered. According to him, it is worth paying attention to the "strange" correspondence, which contains inaccurate information about the transfer of property rights to unknown persons.

How to protect yourself from e-signature crime
- Do not install banking applications on gadgets that are used to visit information and entertainment sites. - Promptly increase the protection of antivirus programs and browsers. - Do not communicate with unknown recipients via company email (do not open letters, files, links from unknown people) .– Do not use Internet banking programs on computers installed in public places. - If you lose documents, immediately report the loss to the police.
- Change the "factory" password for electronic signatures to your own.

If, without your knowledge, they nevertheless carried out some operation using an electronic signature, then in practice this can be proved with the help of Internet traffic. He will show that on a particular day and time the user did not access the network from his device, which he usually uses to conduct such operations, Novikov said. And most importantly, to reduce the number of such frauds, it is necessary to improve the legislation, says Managing Partner of ICA Soldatkin, Zelenaya and partners Dmitry Soldatkin. He considers it necessary to establish a requirement for the mandatory personal presence of the applicant or his representative during the execution of the EDS. In the meantime, the irony is that the use of an electronic signature makes life as easy as it complicates the process of proving that the property was not disposed of by the owner, summarizes Victor Ushakevich from AB Thorn.

 

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