Pro scammers know much about you

Scammers web payment cardOnline.Photo Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

Professional scammers know much about you

Web scammers are more professional and have far more information about their victims than before.


This is stated in the report ”Threats and Trends 2018-2019” prepared by the Norwegian Center for Information Security (NorSIS). The report shows which digital threats and trends will affect Norwegian private individuals and businesses in the coming year.

Adapt to payment ability

The report shows that scammers map the victims thoroughly and that they can adapt the fraud to the individual or company. The fraudsters know, for example, which websites the victims use.

The victims of extortion experience more often than before that the sums they are asked to pay are adapted to their finances and ability to pay. Thus, it can be perceived as better to just pay up than to seek help or notify the police.

– The criminals know more and more about how to proceed, and often know the victims’ pain threshold intimately. There is every reason to believe that this is a trend that will only intensify over the next few years, says CEO in NorSIS, Peggy Heie.

Seasonal fraud increases

At the same time, NorSIS sees that the message is increasingly adapted to channel and season so that they have a greater impact. Some use channels other than email to gain greater trust from the recipient, and they often misuse brand names such as Apple, Samsung or Telenor.

– It is easier to trick someone into downloading a fake pickup notice from the Postal Service in the middle of the Yuletide than it is in the rest of the year, Heie states.

At the same time, executive and management fraud are becoming increasingly widespread, and it is often linked to other methods of fraud.

– We are aware of cases where executive fraud is carried out only after the fraudsters have taken over the identity of an employee. In other cases, they use fake text messages, emails or exploitation of known vulnerabilities in the enterprise’s software to get on the inside.

Use of nudie pics

Extortion using films and images where the victim is naked, or in another compromising situation, is still a known method of extortion, the report shows. At the same time, there has been a slight decrease in the number of dating scams in the past year, but the scam amount to pay is increasing in each case.

– This is often cunning social manipulation that starts in social media and continues in private channels for a long period of time, Heie concludes.


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