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Danish NemID scam victims can apply for compensation

Victims of scammers who trick their victims through misuse of the NemID online identity system can now apply for compensation.

Danish NemID scam victims can apply for compensation
Victims of certain types of NemID fraud can now apply for compensation. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Scams in which callers trick their victims into handing over NemID information – the login system used to access banking, public services and other secure online platforms in Denmark – have been regularly reported in recent years, often targeting older people.

The perpetrators have also been known to use email or other forms of initial contact.

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People who have lost money to certain scams of this type could now be awarded compensation, broadcaster DR reports.

Denmark residents who have been targeted in NemID scams can from Monday apply for compensation if they have lost money which should have been paid into their bank accounts.

According to the Danish Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen), the scammers often change victims’ so-called NemKonto to a different account which they control.

A NemKonto is the designated current account used to receive salaries as well as payments from the state such as pensions, child support or unemployment benefits.

As such, regular payments that should be received by the victim go to a different bank account.

During the first six months of the compensation scheme – until January 31st 2023 – victims can apply for compensation with up to 10 years’ retrospective effect, the agency said in a statement. As such, anyone who has lost money to scams of this type from August 2012 onwards could receive compensation.

To apply for compensation, the applicant should provide documentation of a police report and proof that they were the rightful recipient of the lost payments.

NemID is currently being replaced by a new online ID system, MitID, in a phased process which will see NemID out of use by autumn 2022.

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DIGITAL ID

MitID: New digital ID could keep some Danish shoppers out of online stores

The transition to MitID, Denmark’s new public digital ID system, could prove a considerable headache for people who don’t use the code-generating smartphone app. 

MitID: New digital ID could keep some Danish shoppers out of online stores

MitID’s predecessor, NemID, allows users who opt out of the smartphone app to use a handheld code generator or booklet to confirm their identity.

But Finans Danmark, the company that co-owns the MitID system with the Agency for Digitisation, says that MitID’s offline code generators and readers won’t be ready for these users to shop online until “early 2023,” newspaper Politiken reports.

Since NemID will officially twilight for online shopping on October 31st, that leaves people who don’t use the MitID smartphone app — which Politiken estimates to be in the thousands — without access to online shopping for months, according to the report.

“This is very regrettable. But the solution with the code displayer and code reader has unfortunately proven to need a larger amount of analysis work than we originally anticipated,” Finans Danmark’s director of digitisation Michael Busk-Jepsen told Politiken.

Advocacy groups say the issue will disproportionately affect seniors. People with impaired vision or hearing are also more likely to use code displayers or readers.

“This is very worrying for people like seniors who don’t have a smartphone and will therefore be unable to shop online for an unknown number of months,” director of charity Ældre Sagen, Bjarne Hastrup, told Politiken.

“That could be a person aged 75 without a smartphone or mobile who is physically unable to get out of their home and is therefore reliant on shopping online,” he said.

25 percent of people aged 55-74 in Denmark do not know how to download an app, according to the charity. That rises to 63 percent for 75-89 year-olds.

Hastrup called for the deadline for the complete phasing-out of NemID to be delayed.

Key online public service platforms including skat.dk, borger.dk, or sundhed.dk, along with online payments, rely on NemID and MitID for users to confirm their identity digitally.

Over 4.5 million people in Denmark have so far installed MitID, according to the digitisation agency.

By October 31st, mobile and online banking will only be accessible through MitID. NemID will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

Although the MitID code readers and displayers will not initially work for online shopping, they will function for public service platforms such as those listed above, and for online banking, from October 31st. The readers are currently delivered to users within 7-15 days, the Agency for Digitisation informed Politiken.

The new system has been introduced to improve security and future-proof the digital ID system, authorities have said.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

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