Does Denmark have a problem with phone scammers?

134 people have been called in by police as witnesses in a fraud case in which primarily older people were tricked into handing over bank details to callers.

Does Denmark have a problem with phone scammers?
Photo: bernardbodo/Depositphotos

Court proceedings in the case, which was investigated by police in Funen, begin at the district court in Svendborg on Tuesday. Three men are accused.

A total of more than a million kroner was withdrawn from bank accounts through the scams, according to the prosecution authority.

The men are accused of systematically using the national telephone directory, Krak, to find phone numbers linked to names which might indicate the owner was a senior citizen.

Victims of the scam were then called by persons who claimed to be from debit card payments provider Nets or from the payment security system operated by Danske Bank (Danske Banks Fælles Sikkerhedssystem).

The scam was based on tricking the victim into believing suspicious transactions had been detected on their accounts, and thereby asking them to handover personal and banking details, Funen Police said in a press statement on the case.

One of the victims lost 300,000 kroner to the scammers.

The three suspects are age 20, 21 and 21 years. All three are from Odense.

Some of the alleged crimes occurred as long ago as 2016, when the three young people obtained codes to smartphone payment app Mobile Pay to access victims’ accounts.

Funen Police was assisted in investigation of the case by other police districts and by the National Police’s unit for IT-related economic crime, LCIK.

A verdict is expected in the case in March 2020.

Police raids involving similar scams in Zealand were reported in August this year.

Scammers in Denmark are not averse to using email as well as the telephone to target elderly people.

In September, national statistics agency Statistics Denmark reported that senior citizens in Denmark are more at risk than any other group of losing money to online criminals.

Every eleventh senior who comes into contact with scammers online loses money as a result, according to figures published by the bureau.

READ ALSO: How the elderly in Denmark are losing their money to online scammers

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Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

Almost all of 7-Eleven’s 176 Denmark locations are back up and running with the help of a backup system, the company said on Thursday. 

Danish 7-Eleven stores back on grid after ransomware attack

In an email to news wire Ritzau, 7-eleven said that over 96 percent of its convenience stores across Denmark were now in “stable operation”. That corresponds to around 169 stores.

“We have technicians at the remaining stores who are working hard to get them up and running as soon as possible,” the company said in the email.

However, convenience stores at train stations (where you can buy a transport card) were only accepting Dankort (debit card) payments as of Wednesday evening.

All operational stores outside of train stations currently accept Mobile Pay (app) and cash payments, and many can take Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort. 

“We expect that all stores outside of train stations can accept all Visa, Mastercard, and Dankort during the course of tomorrow morning, and all stores at train stations [will be able to] during the course of the week,” the company wrote late on Wednesday.

The convenience store chain was on Monday hit by a cyber attack that forced all of its 176 stores in Denmark to close.

7-Eleven has confirmed that the outage was due to a ransomware attack — hackers demanded money to return access to the company’s data and systems. 

The attack has been reported to police.

The company’s CEO, Jesper Østergaard, told Ritzau he did not know the extent of losses suffered by 7-Eleven as a result of the incident.