New Chatbot Scam: Bulgarian Pensioners End Up With Loans After Promotional Events

Crime |Author: Diana Kavardzhikova | February 16, 2024, Friday // 15:13|  views


Bulgarian pensioners find themselves with loans of thousands of levs after promotional events they were invited to, while calls from chatbots are implicated in a scheme for financial deception, revealed Nova TV.

The invitation is for events where they are promised gifts. In reality, however, the elderly end up with a loan to purchase a massage blanket, an air ionizer, pillows, and a duvet worth several thousand levs.

The chatbot Natalia calls and asks the same question to people - whether they are satisfied with their last order and whether they are from Sofia. Another bot named Stanislava calls to invite people to health events.

According to someone familiar with how bots operate, this constitutes organized crime and the gathering of personal data, which is illegal.

In the end, you end up with a loan agreement for around 5,000 lv massage devices. Some of those affected have the lowest pensions in the country.

Two weeks ago, an elderly lady, who is a victim, attended an organized event, presented as a health-related one, following an invitation over the phone. Believing she was receiving a gift, she ended up purchasing massage equipment for over 5,000 levs. She wishes to remain anonymous because she doesn't know the sellers and fears they might approach her. With a pension of 540 levs and a monthly installment of 166 levs, she will have to live on 374 levs per month for the next three years to repay the goods. If she decides to use her entire pension for the loan, she will need 11 months to pay it off.

The woman, who is connected to the company and wishes to remain anonymous due to the disclosures she makes, reveals that the employees are skilled salespeople. They use the tactic that everything is free, but in reality, it is not. They create a sense of euphoria and pressure you to sign without understanding what you're doing. They even don't allow you to read the documents.

The company is “Skyline Company”, which frequently changes its name over the years. Its activities include selling household appliances, and medical products, organizing events, and operating a call center. The company denies allegations of fraud and claims to comply with Bulgarian laws. They state that their contact with customers is random, without prior knowledge of their identities. In their written response, they indicate that the company has been inspected for the use of bots and violations in handling personal information, but no violations have been found.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: loans, pensioners, chatbots, financial


» Related Articles: