Fraud involving debit cards and virtual currency

Visa card virtual currencyVisa Debit card. Photo:

Fraud involving debit cards and virtual currency

Foreign prepaid debit cards and virtual currencies are the biggest threats to combating financial crime using emerging payment services. While the authorities are getting better information from the banks and that usage of large cash amounts is reported, the control board fear that the cash flow will follow other – hidden – paths.


Rapid technological development and increasing number of services add to the likelihood that emerging payment services are used by criminal environments, states the NTAES NTA. The center is cooperation between the police, the Tax Administration, NAV, the Labour Inspectorate and the Customs Office, and will increase the authorities’ knowledge of how economic crime can be combated.

The national intergovernmental analysis and intelligence center has identified which new payment services constitute the biggest threat due to lack of traceability. That is, traces of the transaction do not exist or that the tracks are only available in an unreadable data format or that the agencies lack permissions to retrieve the records. Such a lack of traceability makes it impossible to see who is sender or recipient of the money.

Payment cards that you have purchased in Norway, such as a prepaid Visa card containing NOK 1,000, can as an example be used as a birthday present. The challenge is when such cards are used to conceal money transactions. Norwegian cards are basically not problematic, but cards bought abroad which may contain large amounts and can be used anonymously, are. Foreign anonymous prepaid cards represent a significantly greater threat than Norwegian prepaid cards, as the amount limit is far higher, ranging from NOK 15,000 to unlimited every week.


It is also very likely that the use of virtual currency, such as Bitcoin, poses a threat to combating economic crime. The increase in virtual currency applies to both usage and value. The market for – and the acceptance of – virtual currency as a means of payment is in continuous growth, NTAES emphasize in their threat assessment.

– Due to rapid technological development and an increasing number of services to choose between, it is likely that the use of these services will increase in the future, so we now want to spread the knowledge we have about this wide in the agencies, says tax director, Hans Christian Holte.

– For the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority it is important to have knowledge of indicatorsindicating economic crime. When we have more resources in the A-Crime workforce who knows what to look for, the chance of exposing of the criminals increases, says Director of Labour Inspection, Trude Vollheim.


© Tolletaten / Norway Today