The Russian Website that Gifts You Money: Kviku’s Trap

Víctor Masip Brevers
7 min readFeb 23, 2023


Hundreds of victims report harassment and threats from a microloan company that lends them money without their permission

Important Disclaimer: This exclusive report was initially published in Catalan and Spanish for the ARA newspaper by me, Víctor Masip Brevers. You can read it in Catalan here and in Spanish here.

Ja_inter — Getty Images / iStockphoto

A wedding? A repair? A delay in receiving your paycheck? These are just a few of the unexpected events that people face when applying for a microloan. Nowadays, it may seem trivial; it’s quick to request and there are no complications. However, when the need and immediateness of the digital world coincide, it’s very easy to fall into a trap. What happens when this trap turns into a network of debts, abusive loan contracts, harassment, and threats? This is the nightmare that many people experience with Kviku, a Russian company based in Cyprus and registered in Marbella that presents itself as an online bank offering “commission-free” loans.

Kviku’s website is reached through loan simulators (like Solcredito, Fineria, and Credy) that recommend lenders based on your profile. Without even asking how much you want, upon registering they ask for your ID, phone number… and bank account number. Instants after filling out the form, you receive an SMS with a code to verify your account. You enter it and… Surprise! Without even requesting anything, Kviku deposits €50 into your account attached with a fake loan contract via email. The contract requires you to pay back more than double (€104.13) within a maximum of two months. If you don’t, the harassment begins with calls, emails, and threats of home and workplace visits if you don’t pay immediately.

Many of those who were tricked ended up paying out of fear, while others kept the money and claim that “if they want to scam us, we’ll scam them first.” However, they will have to live with messages and calls that arise when they least expect them. Thanks to social media, they have come together and started filing complaints. There are already thousands of people across Spain who have done so.

“Kviku’s loans are usurious and illegal”

Sergio Nogués, a lawyer who specializes in abusive loans, states that “Kviku’s loans are, in the vast majority, usury; they are illegal, and Kviku is applying interest rates of more than 700%.” This lawyer assures that the debt generated with Kviku is not real because the contract is completely null and usurious. As he points out, in recent months his office has filed dozens of judicial claims against Kviku, which continues to defend that the contracts are legal. “In the vast majority of cases, they cancel the contract, but we have taken them to court a few times,” he explains.

He also points out that with just one click, this Russian company gives the contract as signed and the loan as granted: “They approve it in ten seconds and deposit the money in thirty.” According to him, in the last two months, complaints have increased significantly, and Kviku grants more and more controversial loans. “They deposit money without your consent, without you realizing it.” According to the lawyer, if you do not pay the loan, Kviku sells your debt to third parties who can take you to a court or include you in lists of delinquents such as the ASNEF (in Spain).

It is worth reflecting that Spanish jurisprudence establishes that applying an interest rate to a client that is higher than 20% constitutes usury, a practice that was decriminalized in 1995, but which does lead to the nullification of the contract. In the case mentioned above (returning 100 euros in two months for a loan of 50 euros), the interest rate applied is 166%.

“I don’t understand why they granted me a loan; they didn’t ask me for any documentation or knew my creditworthiness,” says one victim.

Javier Botía, a victim of Kviku, explains that when he received the 50 euros and the loan contract, he sent more than ten messages to the supposed customer service to cancel, but there was no response: “I don’t understand how they granted me a loan without asking for any documentation or knowing my solvency. I paid €104.13 and forgot about it, but the nightmare didn’t end there: they keep sending me messages asking for more money and I know that if I pay, they will ask for more and more.”

When “customers” write asking for explanations, Kviku responds firmly: “It’s incredible that they accuse us of fraud. There is a lack of attention on their part when applying for a financial product without studying the terms rigorously.” They also explain that “in online banks, SMS messages are a confirmation of their consent to sign the loan.” The company’s customer service ensures that “there are customers who complain about everything and others who appreciate that we give loans without documents.”

Rebecca López Martín is a journalist, has a master’s degree, and currently works as a teacher. “Everyone can have an unexpected expense. In my case, I needed new glasses. At that time, I didn’t have the money, so I started looking for a quick loan.” Upon receiving the 50 euros, she decided to return them immediately and emailed Kviku with the transfer receipt. “They replied that they hadn’t received anything until I started investigating and saw that the contract was not legally valid in Spain.” After informing herself about the laws that Kviku was violating, Rebecca notified the company, and they finally responded: “The loan has been paid and closed.”

It was then that she joined a Telegram group of those affected by Kviku and shared her experience to help others. “In general, you see that people think that this scam only happens to a certain profile of people who are in debt, who have no education… but there is no specific profile. Anyone can be scammed,” says Rebecca. “In my case, it was 50 euros, but there are people to whom Kviku deposits much more money,” she points out.

More illegal practices

The practices of this company include extreme difficulty in canceling a loan contract within a period of fourteen days due to poor customer service response. Additionally, it is impossible to delete or modify your personal and financial data on Kviku’s website, which violates the right to data erasure. This means that the company has total freedom to sell and store your data indefinitely, without the possibility of protecting your sensitive information.

Bernat M. is the administrator of “Scammed by Kviku”, a Telegram group with more than 260 members. In his case, he tried to apply for a loan of 250 euros, which was granted to him. “Upon reviewing the contract, I saw that they were asking for 567.59 euros. I tried to cancel it, but they only sent me automatic emails. That’s when I started investigating online and saw that there were hundreds in my situation,” he explains.

Bernat believes that Kviku’s intention is to deceive many people with the 50-euro microloan. “When you enter the SMS code, you think it’s to verify your phone number, like any other website, and they do not warn you that it’s to sign a contract,” he complains. “In November and December — coinciding with Black Friday and Christmas — the scam skyrocketed, and many new people kept joining the group.”

After consulting his case with specialized lawyers, Bernat decided to stop paying until he could clarify his situation with Kviku. “They started threatening me. They said that third parties would visit me at home or at my workplace, that I would be blacklisted as a defaulter…” Since then, Bernat has still not been able to resolve his situation, although he continues to receive automatic messages. “When you see the amount increasing without stopping, and they threaten you with blacklists or starting a legal process against you, you start to get scared,” he explains.

If the “Scammed by Kviku” Telegram group has more than 260 members, on Trustpilot we can find 325 negative opinions. On a complaints page, there are up to 780 reviews and the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has recorded over 20 complaints. However, the Diari ARA has not been able to determine the exact number of users who have received money from Kviku without their consent.

Kviku Finance is a crowdlending platform that offers any user the opportunity to finance loans to individuals who request credit. Users can select the market that interests them most, filter by country, date, interest rate, or amount, and finance a loan. Today Kviku allows investing in up to 2,840 individual loans of €50 issued in the last 14 days only in Spain. There are also loans that go up to €600.

In statements to this newspaper, A.O., an investor in Kviku, assures that “everything is automated based on simple duration criteria.” According to him, the company offers returns of between 10% and 12% to investors, much lower than the interest rates paid by clients, but is not currently paying what it has promised. “We could go the legal route to take control of this loan portfolio,” he says.

A fast-growing company with plans for expansion

Kviku is an international fintech group with Russian roots and a presence in Europe and Asia. The company is structured into two companies: one is LLMC AirLoans, which is for businesses in Russia, and the second is Kviku Holdings Ltd Group, incorporated in Cyprus. Kviku focuses on instant online credit solutions in Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain, Poland, the Philippines, Ukraine, and India, and, according to their investor presentation, plans to expand to Vietnam and Indonesia in 2023. Since its launch in 2013, Kviku has issued over 3 million loans with a total volume of over 300 million euros. In Spain, their operations started in 2019. In 2020, Kviku had 40 employees, while in 2022, the company grew to 108 employees.

According to their LinkedIn profiles and their company profile on P2P Holdings, Nikita Alexandrovich Lomakin is the CEO and co-founder of Kviku. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Mathematics and Cybernetics in 2009. From 2009 to 2012, he worked at Morgan Stanley in Moscow and London.

Veniamin Veniaminovich Lipskiy is the CFO and co-founder of Kviku. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Economics in 2007. In late 2016, he resigned from his role as vice president of the Sputnik Group to work full-time at Kviku as CFO.



Víctor Masip Brevers

Hey there. I am a journalism student, and I am passionate about technology, but I also love to write stories and share thoughts on diverse topics.