Bank investment against fraud seen: “Disrespectful”

Bank investment against fraud seen Disrespectful


With the campaign “Svårurad!” the big banks want to help their customers not to be exposed to fraud. But the researcher Marcus Nohlberg sees the initiative.

– It is disrespectful. You only put more shame on the victim, he says.

Marcus Nohlberg, docent in cyber security at the University of Skövde, believes that the campaign is misdirected.

– Imagine if we did that with other crimes. Imagine if we had 20,000 cases of serious assault and went out and said “this is how you should behave in order not to be beaten”. It doesn’t work, it would be completely unacceptable.

Last year, almost 240,000 fraud crimes were reported in Sweden. That is 22 percent more than in 2022. Card fraud and fraud through social manipulation are increasing the most. Recently, this type of crime has received a lot of attention, especially when it affects the elderly.

The bank has expressed sympathy for the victims. “It hurts right to the core of the heart,” said Swedbank’s chairman Göran Persson at the big bank’s last general meeting. In an attention-grabbing episode of Uppdrag Granskning, Guy Wennerholm, Handelsbanken’s head of fraud prevention, broke down when he had to take part in a report where a pensioner was cheated of his savings.

“Simple actions”

But Nohlberg doesn’t buy the sentiments of the bankers.

– Now the people are sitting at the top and crying tears over this. Yes, I agree, but they could have changed this with simple measures a long time ago. It is not that the banks were not aware that this was happening. This started to become a national problem already in 2008, he says.

Nohlberg believes that the banks should introduce a 24-hour delay on large transactions, require signatures both at the beginning and end of large transactions and the possibility of choosing a close relative who must also sign for larger transfers. In any case, offer their customers the opportunity.

“A great mystery”

He also questions the benefit of bank customers being able to transfer such large sums at all at any time and in such a short time.

– It’s so crazy that we don’t even have this discussion. There are tens of thousands of crime victims. If it had been the same thing with bank robberies, we would have locked down the whole society.

So why haven’t the banks introduced the measures you mention?

– That is the big mystery, says Nohlberg.

– I don’t think it’s a technical issue and it’s hardly a matter of them lacking resources. The only thing I can believe is that the banks locked themselves into the trap. That if they start releasing these services, they admit it was stupid not to have them before.