The coronavirus infection, which has hit the whole world, has seriously corrected and even spoiled the plans of the Russians. Despite the regime of self-isolation prescribed by the authorities, people still leave their homes and try to solve some of their affairs that are not urgent.
To be honest, a few days ago I also went outside my apartment not to go to the doctor or to the nearest store. I wanted to solve my personal accumulated affairs – for this I had to travel around the city in a car without a pass. Fortunately, the staff of the patrol police or traffic police did not get in my way, and such a sortie was painless for me and invisible to law enforcement agencies.
However, a couple of days later, a very strange SMS came to my phone, the sender was an ordinary phone number (Tele2 network). The text was as follows: 'Dear full name! According to geolocation, you violated the quarantine regime in accordance with article 20.6.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. You need to pay a fine in the amount of 4000 rubles in accordance with the decree of the Federal Penitentiary Service No. 111-156 dated XX.XX.2020 to the number Tele2 + 7- (900) -XXX-XX-XX. You can pay the fine at any mobile terminal. In case of non-payment of the fine within 24 hours, a criminal case will be initiated against you on the basis of Art. 236 of the Criminal Code and Art. 6.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation '.
It is worth noting that at first I panicked: the message looked very plausible, at the indicated hours I was really not at home. The fact that my personal data (full name) were correctly indicated in the SMS added spice. Only an hour later, I thought a little and decided to check whether the punishment execution service really wrote me a decision to impose a fine.
Further, several details seemed strange to me at the same time.
- The requirement to pay the fine was limited to 24 hours: what about the appeal period and all that?
- I would like to clarify whether the FSIN body has the authority to bring to criminal responsibility.
- The text of the SMS itself was a little bit legally illiterate: in one case, 'you' is addressed with a capital letter (at the beginning), in the other – with a lowercase letter (at the end). The expression “quarantine regime” alarmed me, because in our subject of the federation the quarantine regime was not introduced as such by any decree.
- It is unclear why the usual phone number is listed among the payment details, while there were no bank numbers and accounts.
A little later, I got tired of doubting, so I decided to call directly to the Federal Penitentiary Service Directorate in our region and clarify all the information with them. The employee asked to tell the whole story in more detail and at the end of the dialogue assured that this was pure fraud. With a sigh of relief, I thanked him for his help and hung up. The prank in the form of my going out into the street succeeded and did not entail any consequences.
The next day in the news on the Internet I read about similar cases of fraud in other cities – the network was full of similar stories, even the numbers of the 'pseudo-decrees' coincided. Among the regions were the city of Moscow, Smolensk, Vladimir, Sverdlovsk regions, Krasnodar Territory and others.
A little later, the branches of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation in the regions made statements, warning the population about the frequent cases of deception, which say that only employees of executive authorities can draw up protocols on the violation and issue fines.
It is great that the relevant departments are trying to raise awareness among the population, to talk about the types of fraud methods. And those citizens who are faced with this should be conscientious and immediately report to the police. So next time I already know what to do, where to call and how to check the information.