Sharp increase in investment fraud via the internet
27 November 2020
Low interest rates are tempting Norwegians to invest more of their savings via the internet, but many rogue actors and fraudsters are exploiting the situation using crafty and advanced methods. This year TietoEVRY will stop around 150,000 attempts to commit fraud worth almost NOK 500 million thanks to its advanced software and methods.
TietoEVRY monitors card traffic 24/7 and uses advanced software and methods to detect rogue actors. Over the course of 2020 there has been a marked increase in rogue actors in the area of investing.
“At the start of the year, we were rejecting around 10,000 transactions per month, while by October we were rejecting almost 20,000 per month, and the trend is increasing. In June 2020 the combined value of the transactions we stopped was around NOK 30 million, while the corresponding figure for October was nearly NOK 60 million”, explains André Moen Eide, Head of Section, Financial Crime Prevention, TietoEVRY. He adds that over 2020 as a whole, TietoEVRY will reject a total of around 150,000 transactions worth almost NOK 500 million in total.
“We reject transactions for all sections of the population regardless of age, gender, place of residence and income. However, men aged between 20 and 40 seem to be over-represented. We want end-customers to feel safe, and at the same time our actions spare the banks an enormous number of complaints”, explains André Moen Eide.
André explains that the average value of a rejected transaction is about NOK 4,000, while the biggest transactions rejected so far in 2020 have been for around NOK 700,000.
Interest rates have been cut to a very low level and many Norwegians are being tempted by attractive online investment offers, but many underestimate the risk associated with such investments. In some instances, the offers are clever scams, and Norwegians need to exercise caution in relation to everyone who contacts them, wherever in the world they are based.
TietoEVRY’s André Moen Eide recommends that anyone wanting to invest their savings via the internet should think carefully about what they are doing in order to avoid being caught out by fraudsters.
“In general, be sceptical of tempting savings offers that are too good to be true. The marketing for such offers can look very professional and is often run on social media platforms. Upon closer inspection, however, one often finds that there are no named contact persons, or that the contact persons pictured on the site have false names. Also pay attention to the fact that some fraudsters are using advanced search optimisation tools to prevent them from being linked to critical articles”, explains André Moen Eide.
Cryptocurrencies, real estate and investment funds are some examples of the investment concepts where caution is required.
TietoEVRY monitors card traffic 24/7, and as part of this thousands of dubious sites are blocked. The company uses advanced software that is constantly being improved and, in order to stay ahead of developments, it is now also investing in AI-based tech. High-quality collaboration with banks is also important in the fight against fraudsters.
Some simple tips for anyone considering investing their savings via the internet:
In general, be sceptical of tempting savings offers that are too good to be true.
Check carefully who is behind the product. Look out for fake names and identities.
Fraudsters avoid providing details of people you can contact, or they use fictional or stolen identities. Be sceptical and check, for example, whether the photos that are used actually belong to other people.
Can the investment product be sold/traded on an independent exchange?
Be aware that cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated.
All investments involve some level of risk. The safest way to invest is to use a well-known firm that is licensed either by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway or its equivalent in another country.
André Moen Eide, Head of Section, Financial Crime Prevention, TietoEVRY, tel.: +47 918 87 837