Not all press releases are accurate. That is why people are advised to be cautious and to double check all sources before believing. Earlier today (October 11), the Swedish police went on an alert over a fraudulent press release distributed to various platforms and individuals.
That press release announced that Samsung Electronics had acquired Swedish company Fingerprint cards for $650 million. The smartphone maker supposedly closed the deal because it aims to integrate fingerscanning technology into its upcoming Galaxy S5, which is touted as its next flagship handset to be released in 2014.
That news release was instantly and quickly disseminated through Cision, a public relations news distributor. About 25 minutes after the press release was circulated, the PR company immediately announced that the content of the news article was incorrect. The firm claimed responsibility for the distribution of the release.
Alerting the Swedish police
But the mistake would not end simply after apologies have been stated. It turned out that the release of the false press release could have been intended. That is because shares in Fingerprint Cards instantly rose by up to 50%, prompting the Stockholm stock exchange to suspend trading of the company’s shares.
Fingerprint Cards is currently developing scanners that could be integrated into tablets and smartphones. But that technology is already being tested by Microsoft Corp. In fact, when the earlier version of the Windows 8.1 was demonstrated by the software company, it already showed how the Fingerprint Cards scanner would work on the iteration of the new Microsoft touch screen software.
Market rumor to boost share prices
To make the fake press release sound credible, it quoted respective leaders of both Samsung and Fingerprint Cards. The article claimed that the transaction was paid in cash and that the latter would be a new business division of Samsung.
About an hour after the false press release was rolled out, Fingerprint Cards head Johan Carlstrom publicly denied the report. He clarified that the press release did not originate from the company. In a short statement, he also assured that the incident would be reported to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and to the police.
For its part, Samsung dismissed the story as a ‘market rumor.’ The company suggested that Fingerprint cards could be a victim of a possible ‘sting’ that is aimed to bolster the market value of its shares.