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CRIMINAL

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

An erroneous press release published on Friday indicating that Swedish firm Fingerprint Cards had been acquired by Samsung led to a sharp rise in the firm's stock and a criminal investigation once the mistake had been discovered.

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

“An investigation has shown that the company followed its routines and was subjected to a deliberate fraud attempt,” business wire service Cision, the firm responsible for publishing the press release, said in a statement on Friday.

Fingerprint Cards, a Gothenburg-based biometric technology firm, issued a denial on its homepage on Friday that it had been acquired by the Korean electronics giant.

“The news in today’s media that Fingerprint Cards AB has been acquired by Samsung is incorrect… What has happened will be reported to the police and to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority,” the firm wrote.

The matter is now being handled by the Swedish Economic Crimes Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) which has opened a preliminary investigation into aggravated fraud.

Trading in the company’s stock was halted as soon as the abnormal share fluctuations were detected on Friday morning and all trades completed between 10.17am and 10.34 have been nullified.

Fingerprint Cards’ stock has been one of the Stockholm exchange’s strongest performers since the turn of the year, having climbed over 320 percent since January 1st.

The latest Apple Iphone incorporates the firm’s fingerprint sensor.

All trades from 10.17am have also been nullified in sector colleague Precise Biometrics, which also climbed steeply on Friday.

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FRAUD

‘Discount’ phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden

A 75-year-old woman in the Håbo municipality lost over 120,000 kronor (11,200 euros) on Friday after falling victim to a telephone scam.

'Discount' phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden
File photo: Anders Wiklund/ TT

The woman received a phone around lunchtime on Friday from a man who claimed he was calling from a telecommunications operator.

Following a method similar to others seen in telephone scams which target the elderly, the man is reported to have informed the woman that she had unused discounts and was required to log on to her online banking in order to activate them.

“He must have been persuasive, given that he convinced her to log on to her online bank,” Uppsala Police press spokesperson Linda Wideberg told Radio P4 Uppland, who reported the scam.

The incident is now being investigated as fraud, police said.

Other recent scams in Sweden have seen fake emails and text messages which purport to be from the Skatteverket tax authority. 

“Skatteverket will never ask for your account details via email or text message,” the tax agency said in a statement in June this year.

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