Almost every day, we read news stories about how Norwegian men and women are being defrauded out of large sums of money by crafty criminals who constantly find new ways to trick people into providing sensitive personal information about themselves, which is later used to drain them. accounts.
It increased by nearly 100 cases last year
This kind of crime is regularly committed here in Sarpsborg.
Over the past year, Sarpsborg police have seen a significant increase in cases where spoofing and phishing have been used as a means of defrauding thieves. Phishing is a form of crime that aims to deceive sensitive information from its victims by building a relationship of trust with them. This could be that they are posing as from a legitimate actor such as a bank, post office, police or other public agencies or institutions.
– Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in this type of crime committed against people in Sarpsborg. In the past year, we’ve had many cases where the victim was defrauded of anything from NOK 40 to 50,000 and even several hundred thousand, yes, even millions, says the head of the investigative department at Sarpsborg Police Station Daniel Holm to Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad .
Watch the police video of what to do if you are a victim of fraud:
Police liaison Roger Bowie points out that while there were 173 registered cases of fraud against private individuals in 2021, last year the number of cases increased to 267. In percentage terms, this increase corresponds to the increase in the rest of the country. The situation in many of these cases is that the criminals used methods such as phishing and circumvention.
Older women are more at risk
Over the past few years, many seniors have been scammed by someone who calls and pretends to be from the police, banks or other public services. Police and bank phone numbers are misused through spoofing. The perpetrators manipulate the person into handing over personal information by pretending to be police or a bank over the phone. They use spoofing, so that apparently the phone number of the police and banks appears to the person being called. Offenders often come up with a good explanation as to why they are calling, like someone took out a loan in their name or something and the matter needs to be sorted out. The offer made by the offender can then be seen as an aid to sort things out. The calls are often long and the caller appears very credible to the person concerned. Those exposed to this are persuaded to hand over personal details, card information, one-time-use codes or BankID before bank accounts are emptied, says Roger Bowie, police contact in the Sarpsborg Police Station area to Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad.
Both Holm and Bowie stated that older ladies were often the subject of this type of crime. The two local police chiefs do not hide the fact that this form of crime is difficult to solve, because it is not necessarily the main figures in the criminal networks who carry out the scams themselves.
Watch the police video of how convincing the scammers are:
– There are complex cases to investigate, but it is very important that people who are exposed to such crimes report it to the police. Because this kind of crime has top priority in police. Daniel Holm says this type of crime is very harmful to society.
The central actor was taken in Oslo
Earlier this month, the Norwegian Police made strong progress regarding an investigation into an international phishing environment with links to criminal networks in Norway. Then a man in his twenties was arrested and detained in Oslo. Police believe he is a major player when it comes to such cases in this country. He was charged with aggravated fraud and money laundering.
The criminal network being investigated by the police contacted the victim by phone and pretended to be a police officer. The victim in this case is a woman in her 70s from Ålesund. The criminal network asked the woman for her account details and bank ID in order to transfer money from her account. The police do not rule out further arrests in this case.
The arrest of this man has already had an effect on the statistics here in Sarpsborg.
– After this case was announced on February 9, the number of cases reported here in Sarpsborg decreased significantly. Whether that was because the police fired a key player or whether this arrest calmed the criminals down a bit before they were fully active again, we don’t know at the moment, says Daniel Holm.
Important to review
Roger Boy explains that although the number of reported cases in Sarpsborg has decreased in recent weeks, there is no reason to breathe a sigh of relief.
Police fraud advice
- Be careful with BankID and personal data.
- Do not provide your bank ID or other sensitive personal information over the phone, even if you are told they are calling from, say, the bank or the police.
- The number you get on the phone can be faked. So just checking the phone number dialed via directory information is not good enough.
- Ask for the person’s name and where they are calling from. Hang up and then call directly to where the person says they are calling from, and ask to speak to them. This way you will get confirmation that the person concerned works there and that it is who he is.
– No, criminals will always find new ways to deceive people. So now more than ever it is important to be vigilant and not give out sensitive personal information. The police also need help to prevent this type of crime. We see that the elderly, especially older women, are the most vulnerable to this. The police call is that if you know someone in this target group who is being scammed, talk to them and explain what they need to do to prevent it, Bowie says.
Watch a police video on what not to do to avoid being scammed:
Bowie and Holm stressed the importance of reporting such cases to the police.
– There is no reason to feel ashamed if you have been duped in this way by seemingly trustworthy criminals. This is why it is important that those who have been subjected to this report make contact with the police, both of whom report to the SA.
Mobile phone hijacking
So why do scammers use impersonation? According to Telenor, you’re probably not alone in ignoring calls that show foreign numbers. Perhaps alarm bells will also ring if an encrypted SMS comes from a faraway country that you normally have nothing to do with?
- Mobile phone hijacking is not a new form of fraud – however, the method is still very popular among scammers today. This method is also often called plagiarism.
- Simply stated, cellphone hijacking involves scammers ‘disguising’ themselves behind a fake phone number or fake email address.
- This means that you will not be able to see the real phone number that scammers are calling or sending SMS from. Instead, you get a fake phone number provided by the scammers themselves. They can do this easily with software or online tools.
- The hijacked phone number is often Norwegian, even if the scammers call from abroad.
Thorbjørn Busch, Telenor’s chief security advisor, says scammers are well aware of this:
– Scammers use mobile phone hijacking because it increases the probability that the phone will be captured. If an inquiry comes from a Norwegian number, you’ll instantly be more confident about this – even if it’s unknown. This is because you are most likely used to receiving calls or messages from Norwegian numbers, it says on the carrier’s website.
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