Nastasia Dvoyankina, a 31-year-old art teacher from Yekaterinburg, was just managing to make ends meet.

But when found out in December 2020 that she was pregnant, she realized her monthly salary of 30,000 rubles ($410) would not be enough for two.

“I started looking around, trying to figure out how I could increase my income,” Dvoyankina told The Moscow Times in a telephone interview this week.

A friend from work told her about Finiko, a new “investment vehicle” providing returns standard banks simply couldn’t.

Dvoyankina decided to put most of her savings into the company, roughly $5,000, hoping she would be able to buy a flat by the time her baby arrived.

However, by the summer, Finiko had stopped paying any returns and she was no longer able to withdraw her investment. She realized she was one of hundreds of Russians who had been duped by the murky company.

“I didn’t think of myself…

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