Different types of fraud

There are many different forms of scamming. Read and learn about the different variations and be one step ahead of the criminals.

Investment scam

Have you received an email or a phone call from a foreign investment adviser who wants you to invest in equities or funds which have “good” future prospects? Or perhaps you received an offer to invest in cryptocurrencies and binary options which seem almost too good to be true. Such investment scams have become increasingly common recently.

The scams often begin with an opening fee of 250 euros which is debited to your credit card.

Tips for avoiding investment scams:

  • Does the company have a licence? How long has the company been engaged in investment activities?
  • Cryptocurrency services never contact their customers by telephone, but they only provide a platform for trading.
  • Reputable companies seldom offer investment opportunities to anybody over the phone, especially in the evening.
  • Check if the company is on the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority's warning list and try to find out further information on the company on the internet.
  • You should never allow anybody to install remote control software on your computer!

Order fraud traps

In order fraud traps, the victim gives their card number when participating in a lottery or survey, redeeming a “prize”, paying “insufficient postage”, ordering a sample or buying an inexpensive product (such as a smartphone, tablet, gift voucher, shoes or complimentary packages containing beauty or health care products). 

In connection with the initial debiting of a few euros, the cardholder unintentionally signs up for the seller’s service, which leads to monthly debits to the cardholder’s account. The debits may amount up to 100 euros per month.

It is extremely difficult to discontinue the unintended agreement, so the victim should close their card and order a new one, which will terminate the monthly debits. We recommend that you report such an offence to the police.

Do not provide your card number in reply to a message or link that you have received without asking for it or if you are not convinced about the service provider’s trustworthiness.

Vishing

A fraudster calls you and pretends to be the representative of a bank, an electronics chain or the authorities. He or she often claims that the matter is urgent and tries to get the victim to use their online banking codes and disclose them to him or her. The purpose of the call is to get access to the victim’s Netbank to transfer funds or to find out the victim’s online banking codes.

Tips for avoiding vishing:

  • Never disclose your personal online banking codes or account information to anyone else.
  • Never use your online banking codes if someone contacting you requests or demands you to do so.
  • If anything seems suspicious to you, hang up.
  • To check the caller’s identity, call back to the switchboard of the authority or company the caller claims they represent, for example, the police or your bank or your bank’s Customer Service.

Phishing

Phishing emails ask the recipients to update their account information, change their password, etc. The sender appears be their bank that wants them to confirm their account or card number.

Phishing emails are also sent in the name of the authorities, the tax authority and the national postal service, among others. These messages include a link, and by clicking the link, you can “identify yourself” or “confirm” your account or card number.

Tips for avoiding phishing:

  • Never fill in your personal or banking data on an email form.
  • Do not provide your personal or banking data by replying to an email sent to you.
  • Do not log in to a service via a link included in an email. Go to the service provider’s website directly and log in there.
  • Do not open links or appended files you have received from a sender you don’t know.
  • Always check the authenticity of email messages by clicking the sender's email address. If the address looks suspicious, the message has not been sent by an official party.

Smishing

Nowadays, most scams are sent in an SMS to a mobile phone. Their purpose is to make you open a link and provide your personal and banking data.

Tips for avoiding smishing:

  • Do not open links you have received from unknown senders.
  • Smishing messages are often disguised as having been sent from the service numbers of well-known companies, such as Nordea or the national Posti postal service. In such cases, the smishing messages appear in the same chain of messages as the genuine messages.
  • Do not log in to any service via a link included in an SMS. Go to the service provider’s website directly and log in there.
  • Please always make sure that the message you have received relates to a service or purchase you have actually ordered. Nordea never asks for your personal data via an SMS or email.

Love scam

Love scams are usually executed online in Facebook or a dating website. The scammer is often “a soldier on a foreign mission” or “an engineer travelling a lot abroad”. The scammer contacts his victim and they start to exchange messages and talk over the phone. The contact can continue for months and soon the scammer will start to talk about love and a future together. After some time, the scammer starts asking for money for different purposes; hospital bills and travels, for example.

Tips:

  • Be aware of persons who ask you to send them money.
  • Never send money to a person whom you have never met and who requests you to send him/her money on internet.
  • If you notice that you have been scammed, inform the bank about what happened and report it to the police. You are not the only nor the last one to be a victim of this type of scam.

You can get peer support by contacting Victim Support FinlandOpens new window. You can also call them anonymously.

Identity theft

Identity theft means using another person’s identity for buying goods, making orders or taking our loans in the other person's name, for example.

Tips:

  • Consider carefully what kind of information you reveal on the internet and in social media.
  • Activate the ‘Oma Luottokielto’ service offered by Suomen Asiakastieto

Money Mule

A money mule is a person who is recruited for receiving and transferring money obtained through fraudulent means through their account. Typically, the mule is paid a small commission for the money transferred. The victims of scams (such as love scams) are also often used for hiding the origin of illegally acquired funds.

How to avoid becoming a money mule?

You are responsible for knowing the transactions on your account. If you are not sure about a transaction, contact your bank or the police immediately before making any credit transfers.  Suspicious cases are always investigated by the police, and the bank may have to restrict the customer’s services.

What if I have been used as a money mule?

Contact the local police and tell them what has happened. Also contact your own bank and ask for a thorough investigation of the payments you have made.

Fake invoices

Fake invoices are often sent by email. The fake invoice requests you to pay for a product or service which you or your company have not ordered or which has never been delivered. Sometimes the seller may also call and demand money over the phone claiming that the company has concluded an agreement with them.

Consider the following:

  • Is the invoice sensible? Have we purchased this product/service?
  • Does the invoice clearly indicate that it is really an offer?
  • Is the account number the same as in previous invoices?

You can also search for the company sending the invoice on Google. It is often easy to find information on companies sending fake invoices.

CEO fraud

In a CEO scam, a criminal is pretending to be a company CEO or some other person belonging to the company's management. The criminal sends a scam email to one of the company's employees requesting him or her to urgently transfer a large sum of money abroad.

Tips:

  • If you receive payment instructions by email, don’t follow them.
  • Train your personnel to identify the risks and secure ways of working.
  • Call the sender of the email and check if the message is genuine.
  • If you feel uncertain, consult a colleague.

Always contact the bank if you have received payment instructions and suspect you are trying to be scammed / have been scammed.

Recommendable means of protection

By following our recommendations, you can avoid fraudsters.

Read more

Common terms linked to security and scams

Here you can find the common terms linked to security and scams.

Read more

More information about Security

Learn to identify them, stay alert and you will not be deceived.

Back to the front page of security