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CRIME

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A total of more than a million kroner was withdrawn from bank accounts through the scams, according to the prosecution authority.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

Former head of Danish intelligence charged over leaks

Danish prosecutors on Friday charged the country's former military intelligence chief with leaking state secrets, following a scandal over Denmark's cooperation with US intelligence.

Former head of Danish intelligence charged over leaks
The prosecution authority said Lars Findsen was accused of “having divulged secrets important to national security on several occasions and… under particularly aggravated circumstances”.
 
The details of the investigation are classified, but the case comes after Danish media reported that the Danish intelligence services had cooperated with the US National Security Agency (NSA).
 

Findsen, who was suspended in August 2020 without public explanation, was subsequently held in custody from December 2021 to February 2022. He insists he is innocent.

 
“I never divulged any state secrets. I reject the allegations”, he told Danish news agency Ritzau in June, criticising the handling of the case as “ridiculous”.
 

Prosecutors accuse Findsen of leaking state secrets and other confidential information after his suspension to six people, including two journalists, over a period of up to 17 months.

 
The leaks could “harm relations with other intelligence service partners and make their work more difficult if their work methods were revealed”, prosecutor Jakob Berger Nielsen said.
 
“Trust in the (Danish) intelligence service’s ability to protect sensitive information may have been weakened,” he added.
 
The prosecution said it would request a trial behind closed doors. A date has yet to be set.
 
While Denmark never publicly revealed why Findsen and the other agents were suspended, there have been suspicions that his service conducted illegal surveillance.
 
The government accused them of hiding “crucial information” and providing “false information to the authorities” between 2014 and 2020.
 
In May 2021, an investigation by several Danish media revealed that the NSA used Danish underwater cables to spy on officials in France, Germany, Norway and Sweden until at least 2014.
 
Former German chancellor Angela Merkel was among the NSA’s targets.
 
The revelations sparked an international scandal and the four countries demanded explanations from Washington and Copenhagen.
 
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