Several 16-year-olds suspected in connection with S Bank scams

THE MISTAKE in S Bank’s online banking services was exploited for wrongdoing by a group of mostly underage friends and acquaintances, Helsingin Sanomat reports.

Klaus GeigerThe chief detective inspector for the preliminary investigation at the Western Uusimaa Police Department told the newspaper last week that the alleged ringleader, who is in pre-trial detention, is 16, like many other suspects.

Meanwhile, a handful of adults are said to have helped the youngsters transfer the fraudulently obtained money to other accounts. “They spent the money and gave bank accounts to transfer the stolen money,” Geiger said.

In total, less than 10 people are suspected of wrongdoing in connection with the case.

He also revealed that the suspects accidentally spotted the vulnerability in the online banking system, meaning they didn’t need any programming know-how or a cyberattack to carry out the wrongdoings.

S Bank confirmed last week that the system error allowed a “limited group of customers” to access others’ online banking services for nearly four months, between late April and early August. It has also been exploited to make unauthorized bank transfers, connect to third-party online services, and commit other wrongdoings.

The error, he pointed out, was corrected as soon as it was detected on August 5.

Geiger told Helsingin Sanomat that the suspects managed to spend most of the stolen money on “living big” and investing in cryptocurrencies.

MTV Uutiset reported on Thursday that the profits obtained by the perpetrators amounted to one million euros, with the suspects obtaining around 940,000 euros by bank transfer and using the login credentials to apply for consumer and payday loans.

Officers from the West and East Uusimaa Police Departments are investigating a total of 53 aggravated means of payment fraud and approximately 150 computer break-ins in connection with the case. The victims of the misdeeds reside throughout Finland.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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