• Sweden edition
 
US state issues alert over Swedish email scam

US state issues alert over Swedish email scam

Published: 08 Feb 2011 11:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Feb 2011 11:31 GMT+01:00

The historic ties between Sweden and the US state of Minnesota play a central role in a new email scam targeting Swedish citizens.

The emails, which are written in Swedish, claim to have been sent by Minnesota's top legal officer, Attorney General Lori Swanson.

According to Swanson's office, the fraudulent emails claim that the recipient has inherited "money or property from an unknown relative in Minnesota who has recently passed away".

Considering that a great many of the more than one million Swedes who immigrated to the United States between the mid-1800s and early-1900s ended up in Minnesota, many Swedes could find it plausible that they have a long-lost relative in the state.

According to recent US census data, nearly 10 percent of Minnesota residents have Swedish roots.

Minnesota's status as a primary destination for Swedish immigrants was also elevated to near mythical status in Sweden by a series of four novels written by Vilhelm Moberg in the 1950s collectively referred to as "The Emmigrants" (Utvandrarna), which chronicle the journey of a family from Småland in south central Sweden who settled in Minnesota.

The email scam urges recipients to contact a UK-based "lawyer" to collect the inheritance left to them by their fictional Swedish relatives.

A spokesman for Swanson's office told the local Star Tribune newspaper that the attorney general's Swedish-sounding last name also added credence to the emails.

"People in Sweden know there's a large population here," he told the newspaper.

"There are relatives that travel back and forth quite a bit."

Swanson's office urged anyone who has received the email to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Despite the warnings from Swanson's office, police in Sweden told The Local they haven't received any reports about the scam.

"There haven't been any reported to us, but that doesn't mean there aren't any victims out there," said Peter Ericsson from the internet crimes division of the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen).

Police authorities in Jönköping County in south central Sweden, an area from where many Swedes emigrated to the United States, also hadn't heard from any victims of the scam in their region.

"Using lawyers in the UK is a common feature of these scams, but connecting them to Minnesota is something new," spokesperson Linda Wangström told The Local.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:17 February 8, 2011 by johnny 2011
He, He so the Nigerians have moved to Minnesota and Sweden. Of course, nobody sends you an email re an inheritance of millions of $$$$. Believe me you will get snail mail!!!
12:56 February 8, 2011 by krow
@johnny, Don't think it is proper to categorise a group of people who can be from anywhere in the world as a nation doing scam. Forget what you see on cnn and bbc, follow the fact that crime can emaciate from any section. Beside Swedish is not the official language of the country you mentioned. If it was not properly written or Google translator, there would be no need to issue warning.
13:52 February 8, 2011 by johnny 2011
krow they have been doing it for years and it is well documented & warned against that it is difficult to get to them for fraud since they are located in Nigeria. But it might of course be Swedes doing it too.
13:56 February 8, 2011 by Iron E
Neither of your comments make a lick of sense.
14:03 February 8, 2011 by nyh2o
what i dont get is if they have a listed contact person, why doesnt the fbi get in touch with them directly?

and in a way, if you are so stupid to believe this in todays world - even if you survive this, something else will get to you very soon.
14:25 February 8, 2011 by saraswed
@johnny 2011

i think it was rash and stupid conclusion .people may conclude and document whatever.with people calling out SD and their root racist does it mean in Sweden we all are racist ???.pointless argument.
16:06 February 8, 2011 by calebian22
Good grief! Where have you people been? Newspapers and the internet are not available where you are living? It is called Advance fee fraud or wait for it, the Nigerian scam.

Not that all Nigerians are scam artists, but not knowing a well known and documented danger makes you a target. We don't know what the origin of this particular scam is, but it could very well be our friends in Africa mixing things up a bit.
17:07 February 8, 2011 by UScitizen
These scammers in Minnesota are probably part of the Somali gangs that are taking over in credit card fraud and prostitution. This is a logical next step.
23:02 February 8, 2011 by Great Scott
My god, is this how low the Swedish government will stoop just to rake in taxes.
06:41 February 9, 2011 by UScitizen
I know, this is just a scam the US government came up with to get the Swedish people's minds off Assange! If all the people here are concerned with their money they won't have time to cook up those crazy anti-American conspiracy theories.
14:23 February 10, 2011 by DJECKY
What ever game the black are playing they are doing copy right,or copy wrong.SO uncle johnny maybe you have to turn back to your history books.

Africa was a vergin ,peaceful,innocent land untill the white man came things has never been the same again.THE white man thought Africans how to steal cheat,kill themselves,loot pretend to follow God but lucifers ,belzerbub argents.remember the whites fooled the African with a bottle of RUM,WHISKY,CIGARETTES inexchange of human beings as Slaves ,Not to mention gold,diamond, silver, oil

Uptill today the whites still come and say they want to teach Christianity and inturn loot natural resources,they pretend to bring democracy inturns dube Africans from their wealth.

What are the artifect of the 17th century Benin state in NIgeria doing in British meseums today??

Do you watch your swedeish TV mr Johnny 2011?. just tune to channel 6 and watch documentaries on how African wealth migrated to Europe unknown.

Well just leave the Nigerians out of you racist mind SIR.
02:59 February 13, 2011 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
@ johnny 2011

Exactly what was on the tip of my tongue.
Today's headlines
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

762
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com