Hanna is the victim of a special crime – No one can help

Identity theft is frighteningly simple. Anyone can become a victim, and there is no concrete help when scammers use numerous foreign numbers.

Hanna Repo from Helsinki has become a victim of identity theft. Hanna Repo

  • Scammers use the name and image of Hanna from Helsinki.
  • Dozens of strangers contacted Hanna to report identity theft.
  • Anyone whose name and picture can be found online can become a victim.

Helsinki Hanna Repo got a stop call last week.

On the other end of the line was a person working in the information security field who announced that people were being scammed in Hanna’s name.

– He told me that my name and picture are being called from a strange number on Whatsapp, Hanna says to Iltalehte.

Soon, similar notifications started coming from others.

Hanna’s phone rang this time when dozens of strangers contacted her to tell about the impostor impersonating her.

The pieces quickly fell into place. Hanna’s name and image had ended up being used by criminals manufacturing recruitment scams.

This is how a recruitment scam works

Recruitment scams, which we have talked about before, typically start when the scammer contacts you, for example on Whatsapp. The scammer says he represents a certain company and offers the victim a job.

Some recruitment scams have used the names and pictures of real recruiters from genuine companies so that the unsuspecting victim would find search results that increase confidence.

According to the Cybersecurity Center, in recruitment scams the victim may be promised, for example, remote work, flexible working hours, a generous salary and simple tasks, the performance of which does not require extensive training or previous work experience.

The authority is aware of cases where the victim has even been paid small amounts of money. The aim is to engage the victim and continue with more confidence than before. At some point, the victim is asked to make money transfers through a cryptocurrency platform. At first, the amounts are small, but they gradually increase as the scam progresses.

The scammer posing as Hanna claimed to be a recruiter for Alma Career Oy in at least one scam attempt. It is a genuine company that belongs to the same Alma Media group as Iltalehti.

Since Hanna herself works as Alma Media’s content marketing director, a Google search under her name produces plenty of search results referring to Alma Media. The scammer also tried to take advantage of this.

The story continues below the picture.

The impostor posing as Hanna has claimed, among other things, to be a recruiter for Alma Career Oy. Hanna Repo

Malware in the messages too?

All contacts that have come to Hanna’s attention and have been made in her name have come on Whatsapp and followed the same pattern. At first, they called several times, then sent messages.

– First, trust is built and attracted by an interesting workplace. Then we ask the recipient if they can add more information.

Hanna can’t say where the scammers got her name and picture.

– The picture and name can be from LinkedIn, for example, but the picture in question is also elsewhere on the web. The professional titles and job descriptions were invented by the criminal entity, he says.

Hanna has also been contacted by people who have responded to scam messages. According to them, at some point during the messaging, the scammer sends a file containing “salary information” in the Whatsapp conversation, which you are prompted to download. The file may contain malware.

The story continues below the video.

Don’t lose your money to online scammers. See the tips in the video.

“Pretty hopeless”

Hanna says that she filed a criminal report for identity theft. In addition, he has been instructed to report the incident to the Cybersecurity Center operating under the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

In practice, nothing else can be done. Anyone whose name and picture can be found on the internet can become a victim of similar theft.

– This is pretty hopeless, when nothing can be done about this kind of identity theft. The disgusting thought that my name and image are being used with criminal intent.

In this situation, alarm bells should ring

Hanna warns that anyone’s picture and name can be used for fraudulent purposes without an actual data breach. He urges you to check the contact person’s real number or email address before answering.

In Hanna’s case, scam calls and messages have come from numbers referring to at least Ghana, India, Pakistan, Iran and Nigeria, according to the person who received them.

– If the person’s name or picture is familiar, check if the phone number looks correct. If your neighbor suddenly has a foreign area code, don’t answer, Hanna reminds.

Hanna is grateful to everyone who took the trouble to find her correct contact information to report scammers impersonating her.

– It’s great that so many wanted to warn and tell that something like this is going on. There were dozens of contacts, all from people I didn’t know before.