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'Dubious webshops': Danish customers warned about scam online shopping

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The Local ([email protected])
'Dubious webshops': Danish customers warned about scam online shopping
Danish consumers have been warned about online stores that aren't quite what they seem. Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

An increasing number of consumers are running into problems with webshops that present themselves as being based in Denmark but are actually run from abroad.

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Parliament’s ombudsman for consumers has issued a warning over the proliferation of “dubious webshops” which appear to be Danish at first glance but are actually run from China or another far-off location.

“It’s unfortunately relatively easy to set up a dubious webshop that looks like it is connected to Denmark regardless of where you are in the world,” the consumer ombudsman, Christina Toftegaard Nielsen, told broadcaster DR.

DR specifically names and shames the site Hannejensen.com as being among webshops which the ombudsman has warned consumers not to purchase anything from. The website has also received a string of withering reviews from Danes on Trustpilot.

Other “dubious” online stores have similarly Danish-sounding names – DR gives HenrikPetersen.com, Aikokbh.dk and Bjornkobenhavn.dk as examples.

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Once the goods are ordered by customers, they often turn out to be of poor quality or are not delivered at all. In some cases, customers returning substandard goods had to cover the cost of shipping back to China. Refunds were often given in the form of credit for the same website.

While the sites have received thousands of bad Trustpilot reviews from disappointed Danish customers, there are also many positive reviews – which appear to be autotranslated and posted by newly-created profiles.

No statistics exist as to the number of people who have lost money through purchases made on websites of this type.

However, the ombudsman told DR it had registered 26 complaints over such cases since it began counting them this year. Over 1,000 negative reviews can be found on Trustpilot according to DR.

‘Be critical’: consumer rights organisation

Consumer rights group Forbrugerrådet Tænk encouraged a critical approach to online stores that look as though they are Danish.

“The best thing is to be critical whichever website you are buying from. In others try to use common sense like you would when shopping anywhere else,” the organisation’s lawyer Martin Bruun-Houmølle told DR.

Unusual or “weird” prices can be potential red flags.

“In Denmark you’d typically see a price like 199 kroner, but on these websites it’s maybe 187.45 kroner or something a bit odd,” Bruun-Houmølle said.

The text may also give the sense of an autotranslation, he said.

Another tip is to look for a Danish address, telephone number or business number (CVR) on the website.

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