Bank customers cheated for hundreds of thousands in bitcoin fraud

BitcoinBitcoin logos are displayed at the Inside Bitcoins conference and trade show in New York. A bitcoin sell-off that began at the beginning of the week is gaining momentum, with a quarter of its value evaporating in the past 24 hours. Just hours before U.S. markets opened Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, bitcoin was trading at $13,659.85, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A Norwegian bank strikes the alarm after more customers have been scammed for large amounts in an extensive bitcoin scam.


“We have six concrete cases where our customers have reported that they have been scammed for hundreds of thousands of kroner. Experience shows that many more have also been exposed,” says information director at Sparebank 1 SR-Bank, Thor Christian Haugland, to NRK.

Scammers call from Swiss or German phone numbers and ask Norwegian bank customers to invest in bitcoin. Customers are told that the crypto currency is taking off and that a small investment can rise so much in value that to invest is beneficial. The con artists ask for access to the customers’ online banking, and eventually empty the accounts of money.

“These con artists know the Norwegian banking system very well. They know about BankID and how quickly money is transferred,” says Haugland.

On January 1, 2017, the price of a bitcoin was just over $926. Now, almost a year later, the price is over $13,000, the crypto currency is a hot speculative object in the financial world, and the media are publishing stories of people who have earned millions from those investments.

“This is how the con artists are luring people,” says Haugland.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today