Samsung has fallen victim to a hoax after a press release announcing its acquisition of a Swedish company was revealed to be an elaborate hoax with the firm at the centre of the “sophisticated fraud” requesting a police probe into the incident.
Cision distributed the false press release that reported Samsung had bought Fingerprint Cards AB and has called for a probe.
“At 10.30am a press release from Fingerprint Cards AB with the headline "Samsung Electronics to acquire Fingerprint Cards AB" was distributed by Cision. The press release was incorrect,” Cision explained.
The press release explained that Samsung was spending $650 million [£406 million] acquiring the company and even came with quotes from Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun that heaped praise on the technology and called it “phenomenal in every way”. This was before adding, in the same false release, that the technology is “going to be loved by millions of people around the world”.
The news sent shares in Fingerprint Cards AB soaring by as much as 51 per cent before the Stockholm exchange suspended the trading due to volatility and Cision has asked the police to investigate what it called a “sophisticated fraud”.
“We are right now investigating what happened. We are looking into our procedures, but we followed all of our security procedures and we can’t exactly tell you what happened as of now,” Helen Rigamonti, director of customer operations at Cision told Bloomberg in a phone interview
The trading added around $200 million [£125 million] in market value to Fingerprint Cards and follows a fruitful few months for its shares amidst rumours that other smartphone manufacturers would take Apple’s lead and add fingerprint scanners.
Apple added a fingerprint scanner to its top of the range iPhone 5S when it was released last month and has fuelled rumours that the likes of Samsung will attempt to emulate the move in upcoming handsets.