Thousands of fraudulent e-mails have recently been sent in an attempt to obtain the online bank details of recipients.Finnish authorities have stepped up their search for new measures to combat the intensifying flow of phishing attacks. At present, fraudulent e-mails are sent from accounts that appear to belong to the Finnish Customs in an attempt to obtain the online bank details of recipients.

Thus far, tens of Finns have been deceived into revealing their bank details to the swindlers.

Earlier, similar e-mails have been sent from accounts seemingly belonging to banks, tax authorities, the police and well-known celebrities. In addition, the swindlers use Facebook and other social media platforms to prey on their victims.

“We're currently looking into how to combat the fraudulent e-mails and the associated crime more effectively. The phenomenon is growing,” says Markku Ranta-aho, the head of the Money Laundering Clearing House at the National Bureau of Investigation.

According to Ranta-aho, the sums involved in the scams are “huge”.

“The saying ‘small streams make great rivers’ applies here. At most, individuals have been robbed of tens of thousands of euros. Mostly, the losses have been in the region of a few dozen to one hundred euros,” reveals Ranta-aho.

A few years ago, sums in excess of one hundred thousand euros were stolen from Finns in similar scams.

Reports of phishing e-mails sent purportedly by the Finnish Customs have increased since early March. On Thursday alone, the customs were contacted by over 50 recipients of such e-mails.

“Overall, we've probably been notified of some 300 e-mails. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of e-mails have probably been sent,” estimates Sami Hyytiäinen, the head of security at the Finnish Customs.

The e-mails prompt recipients to either visit a customs office or use their online bank details to claim a parcel allegedly intercepted by the customs.

“The e-mail contains links to the websites of banks. By clicking a link, you will be taken to a page that resembles the bank's log-in page and prompts you to enter your bank details. The pages are in Finnish and have been crafted relatively well,” Hyytiäinen says.

Lasse Kerkelä – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT