Payments Report 2021

Are payments in Sweden safe?

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New types of fraud increasingly common

Published: 3 November 2021

As Swish and Bank-ID are used increasingly often they are also being used as tools to conduct fraud. They are used in combination with internet banks to access the victim’s money. Telephone fraud, also known as vishing or voice phishing, has increased substantially over the past year. During the first half of 2021, the profits made by fraudsters are estimated to have increased by 186 per cent, compared with the same period in 2020. To reduce the risk of fraud it is important not to give out log-in details or passwords, especially not over the internet or by telephone.

Fraud crimes also often lead to money laundering through various procedures that sometimes involve Swish. Money from fraudulent activities is transferred from one account to another or several others through Swish payments, before the amount is withdrawn in cash, converted to crypto currency, or used to purchase expensive goods. This practice is known as layering, and is based on trying to create as many layers of transactions as possible to hide the origins of the money. Using front men, that is, people who allow someone else to use their accounts, is also common with regard to money laundering.

The national work on prevention of fraud and money laundering is constantly being reinforced. In June 2020, the police began a collaboration for sharing information with the five largest banks in Sweden. This collaboration, which is known as SAMLIT (Swedish Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force), has now become a part of the ordinary work on combating money laundering. In May 2021, a new crime classification was introduced, unlawful dealing with payment tools, which is to facilitate the work against frauds concerning other means of payment than cash.