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Biometrics not so trustworthy: False Samsung stock-pump buy draws Swedish cops

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An elaborate scam saw shares in Swedish biometrics firm Fingerprint Cards rise by over 50 per cent after a false press release was circulated saying the company was being bought by Samsung.

On Friday press release distributor Cision put out the fabrication, claiming the Swedish firm had been bought for $650m in a cash deal with the monster chaebol.

The previous day the scammers behind the announcement had registered a phony domain for the firm using the email address investrel@fingerprint-cards.se and Cision say they checked the phone number provided and spoke to someone claiming to be Fingerprint Cards' CEO.

"When it comes to fraud, you cannot protect yourself 100 percent," Cision's chief executive Magnus Thell told Reuters.

Not surprisingly the news caused a surge in the stock price for Fingerprint Cards before the press release was rescinded. The Swedish financial authorities have since cancelled 160 million Swedish crowns ($24.6 million) of stock trades in the company and the police are conducting a criminal investigation.

"Of course we are going to investigate what has happened and we are going to do that with the company in question, the FSA (market regulator) and Cision," Carl Norell, a spokesman for the exchange told Reuters.

Ever since Apple unveiled its fingerprint recognition technology on the iPhone 5S shares in biometrics firms have been enjoying something of a boom. Fingerprint Cards' stock price has risen five-fold in the last year alone and it's suspected the fraudsters will have used the phony press release to both drive up its price and those of similar companies. ®

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