18-09-2023 15:49

Rise in investment scams

Fraudsters are exploiting the financially difficult situation that many are currently facing, with high interest rates and an increase in prices, offering investment opportunities with a promise of high returns. Investment scams are on the rise in the Nordics, especially in Finland where the number of cases has increased dramatically over the last months
Senior man with hands clasped using laptop

Investment fraud comes in many forms but is typically when someone poses as an investment service provider, financial adviser or fund manager to convince you to send money or invest in a company or service, often cryptocurrency, that doesn’t exist. 

“Fraudsters create convincing looking websites and adverts, send e-mails and text messages and make calls offering investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk. But remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and it is highly likely to be a scam,” says Sara Helin, who works with fraud prevention at Nordea.  

Typically the victims come across a fake advert for an investment scheme on the internet or social media. Fraudsters often use famous people (celebrities, politicians etc.) in their “investment adverts” to gain more credibility. 

if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and it is highly likely to be a scam.

The victims either enter their contact information or contact the “investment company” directly to start the investment. The “investment brokers” act professionally and friendly and keep the victims updated on how their investments are progressing and even create user accounts where the victims can see how their investments are allegedly increasing. Some victims are also encouraged to give the “investment broker” access to their computers so they can provide support with the investments, downloading AnyDesk or other programs which give the fraudsters full access to the victims’ computers and sensitive information, such as online banking credentials and card details.

The victims can also be tricked into creating accounts abroad or virtual wallets on legitimate cryptocurrency platforms, which are controlled by the fraudsters. If the bank is asking questions about the transactions, the victims are being coached by the fraudsters to give certain types of answers to make it appear that they are doing everything themselves.

Many do not realise that they are a victim until they try to cash out the profit. Then they are asked to pay different fees to receive the money. This is of course just a trick to lure them into paying more. Some victims are contacted afterwards by companies offering to help them retrieve the money they have lost – they can also pretend to be the bank or the police. This is just another scam trying to trick people into paying more money.

“We encourage everyone to be suspicious of offers promising a safe investment, guaranteed returns and large profits. Reject cold calls related to investment opportunities, and always get impartial financial advice before you hand over any money or make an investment. If you are unsure, talk to someone you know and trust,” says Sara Helin.