Swedes duped into buying fake shares

Fake stockbrokers are tricking Swedes into buying shares which do not exist, it has been reported. Using an apparently simple confidence trick, fraudsters are thought to be earning enormous amounts of cash.

One businessman in Uppsala has been duped out of 4.6 million kronor.

The chief prosecutor in the city, Ola Laurell, is currently investigating two major frauds. According to local paper Upsala Nya Tidning, the crimes have affected people in around 60 countries. Many of the victims are said to be Swedish.

All have been tricked in the same way. A broker calls up and offers the ‘customer’ the chance to buy shares which quickly rise in value. After a while the victim is given the opportunity to exchange the shares with those in another company – if more money is invested.

The only problem is that the shares do not exist.

“In one of the two investigations we believe that the people who bought the fake shares have lost around two million kronor,” said Ola Laurell to UNT.

One of the victims, an Uppsala businessman, went into bankruptcy and was forced to sell his home as a result of the fraud.

“I checked it all out, it seemed watertight,” he told the paper.

Only when the businessman went to sell the ‘shares’ did he realise that he had been conned.

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) advises people never to buy shares over the phone from an unknown trader or from an unknown foreign company.