There were more than twice as many attempts at so-called investment fraud against Norwegians in 2019 compared to the year before, according to figures from several large Norwegian banks.
In Nordea, growth in attempts at this type of fraud was as much as 137 per cent. Danske Bank and DNBs saw a growth of 130 and 125 per cent in 2019.
So-called investment scams are often carried out on fake trading platforms on the Internet, often placed in fake news articles profiled by ignorant celebrities. On the website, bank customers are tricked into thinking that they have a great investment opportunity that they would almost certainly make money from.
“We ask our customers to be vigilant. If you do a Google search, a lot can be avoided. If you are uncertain, please contact the bank,“ adviser Nordea’s Communications and Press Manager Synne Ekrem to NTB.
“This is one of the most serious problems we see our customers have,” said Danske Bank’s fraud manager Andreas Nordbø to NTB.
He described the scams as professional, in both appearance and good language used. This is something quite different from the so-called Nigeria scam that was common a few years ago.
Among other things, a number of Norwegian celebrity investors such as Petter Stordalen, Olav Thon and Stein Erik Hagen have been falsely used in connection with fake articles related to scams in the past year.
When responding to the ad, it usually does not take long to get a call. The callers are professional, often a little aggressive and use typical social manipulation.
“People would then willingly transfer their money away,“ said Nordbø.
170,000 kroner per customer in attempted scams
Adult men who have little money to invest are most prone to investment fraud.
Nordbø will not go into how much the bank’s customers were scammed in total in 2019 but said that the average figures for investment fraud are around 170,000 kroner per customer.
“That’s what is being sent, but the average among those who have actually been scammed is much smaller,” he says.
The growth in fraud attempts have seen banks implement systems that are able to stop far more attempts than before. In 2019, Danske Bank stopped 150 per cent more fraud attempts compared to the previous year but many customers still get tricked.
Scammed despite warnings
“Some of the transactions go through without us being able to stop them and there are also cases where customers continue to invest despite warnings from us,“ said Nordbø.
The loss per DNB customer cheated by this scam was 54,600 kroner in 2019, according to DNB’s annual fraud report. Nordbø said the figures are similar in Danske Bank.
In total, DNB saw attempted scams of 200 million kroner in 2019. Danske Bank will not disclose how much their customers were scammed.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today