The US Embassy in Russia confirmed that the sending of SMS messages to citizens of the Russian Federation with a proposal to provide information about Moscow’s interference in the US presidential election was organized by the Department of State.
Responding to a corresponding request from Gazeta.Ru, the Moscow embassy indicated that the messages received by the Russians are part of the US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ, Rewards for Justice) program.
Under this program, the Department of State is offering a reward of up to $ 10 million for “personally identifiable information or the whereabouts of any person who, acting under the direction or control of a foreign government, interferes in a US election by engaging in criminal cyber operations.”
The embassy indicated that the administration of US President Donald Trump “will not tolerate foreign interference” in the electoral processes and is ready to respond to possible threats with “serious consequences.”
Earlier, on August 6, the Russians began to talk about receiving an SMS message with the text “The US State Department offers $ 10 million for information about interference in the US elections. If you have information, please contact. ” The SMS was accompanied by a link to the RFJ Twitter account in Russian.
As Gazeta.Ru wrote, such SMS were received by residents of Moscow, Samara region and other regions of Russia. Among the recipients were found a deputy of the Yekaterinburg City Duma, a retired police colonel and a former official of the Russian Ministry of Finance. The US Embassy in Moscow did not answer on what basis the recipients were selected for the SMS distribution.