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Worried about making MobilePay payments and not getting the (second-hand) goods you paid for?

Find out why the Danish Crime Prevention council recommends using MobilePay and our BEST TIPS on how to make secure online purchases, second-hand or other, from person to person.

By Bente D. Knudsen

Once you have settled in Denmark, you cannot avoid being faced with the decision of whether or not you should do what millions of Danes have done; download the MobilePay app to your smartphone.

The popularity of MobilePay is increasing – and is expected to grow further. The alternative payment solution Swipp has not been able to compete with MobilePay’s popularity amongst consumers, and today approx. 3.4 million Danes are users of MobilePay.

Undoubtedly, also the practicality and free terms of use when making payments, either from person to person instead of cash, or as a payment method in shops, has added to the app’s attraction amongst consumers.

However, so far, using MobilePay has been expensive for shops and small businesses, but Danske Bank (the owner of MobilePay) has announced a reduction in the fee that small businesses have to pay to be able to offer the MobilePay payment solution to their customers. A reduction implemented from the 1 April 2017, expected to help further grow the use of MobilePay.

As a consumer, there is no obligation to be a customer of Danske Bank to be able to use MobilePay, a fact that has contributed to the payment method’s success.

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How safe is it to use MobilePay for instance for private online purchases of second-hand goods or concert tickets?

The Danish Crime Prevention Council, Det Kriminalpræventive Råd, recommends using MobilePay when making payments online between a private seller and buyer because MobilePay is linked to a CPR number, which is traceable in Denmark.

However, recently, a number of expats have been worried about scammers taking advantage of them and feeling unsafe when using MobilePay.

First of all a general recommendation is to only make a payment to someone you feel very secure about.

This is particularly the case if you are paying for goods that you are not receiving “in your hand” at the same time as the payment/transfer takes place and is a valid recommendation whether you are making a payment via a bank transfer or by MobilePay.

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But how secure is MobilePay – when taking into account that a seller could have more phone numbers, which he could subsequently deactivate after the transfer of money, making it impossible for the buyer to reach him?

“To be able to use MobilePay a consumer has to give both name, CPR number and bank account information in Denmark. This means that even if a change of phone number or name is made, MobilePay always knows which bank account the money has been transferred to.

This is also the reason why the Crime Prevention Council recommends using MobilePay for payments and transfers instead of for instance cash payments. It will be difficult for a scammer to continue to repeat his tricks as the police will be able to trace the person”, says Press Officer, Peter Kjærgaard, from MobilePay.

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What should consumers do if they never received the goods they paid for in a private deal using MobilePay and the seller no longer answers his phone or deactivates the phone number used?

”If you, as a private consumer, think that you have been cheated by a private seller, and you think it is a fraud/scam etc., then you must report the case to the police. MobilePay cannot judge in such cases, as it can be claim against claim. However, we will keep an eye on the MobilePay user’s use of MobilePay and consider the person’s MobilePay access.

Again, because the money is always transferred to an existing bank account in Denmark, and MobilePay users are validated with both name and CPR number, such cases are very easy for the police to solve. And we have an excellent cooperation with the police,” Peter Kjærgaard explains.

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Increasingly, finding good deals on-line – via social media sites (Facebook etc.) or second-hand sites such as DBA.dk – is growing in popularity.

To make payments more secure, the Danish Crime Prevention Council in general recommends using MobilePay when buying second-hand goods (including concert tickets etc.) and to look for the seller’s NEM-ID validation. This is a service that for instance the second-hand site DBA.dk offers its users.

The NEM-ID validation shows buyers that the seller is a trusted source, and the validation makes it easy for the second-hand site to find the seller, if a problem arises with the deal.

According to DBA.dk they do encounter problems with cases where a seller of tickets does not actually own the tickets they are selling.

This is sometimes the case, if a buyer has put out an advertisement to buy tickets for concerts that are sold out and a seller contacts the buyer offering the tickets.

DBA strongly recommends only making deals with sellers who are NEM-ID validated. Furthermore, they recommend always getting the seller’s full name, phone number and address before terminating the deal.

Important TIPS:

• Check if the user profile of the seller on DBA is a new one (this could be the case also on other second-hand sites) or check if the seller has been a user of the second-hand site for a long time

• Check if the seller’s phone number is registered on KRAK.dk or dgs.dk and whether the information you can find on KRAK/ DGS corresponds with the address the seller has given you – go to www.krak.dk or www.dgs.dk.

• When you are finishing the deal, always make an appointment with the seller so you can get the ticket (or goods) directly. If you are buying an expensive product- ask to see the original receipt if possible, and if you are buying a ticket – check the validity of the ticket with the issuer of the ticket.

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In general beware if:

• The seller does not want to meet-up with you to hand over the goods but demands a prepayment first

• The seller is not NEM-ID validated

• The goods are much cheaper than can be expected ( this could also indicate the goods are stolen)

• The seller’s user profile on the second-hand site is new

In Denmark the legislation concerning personal data and information, Persondataloven, protects users of online sites from having their personal information disclosed to third parties.

This means that a site like DBA  (and other second-hand sites in Denmark) cannot give out personal information about one user to another user of their site – even if there is suspicion of fraud.

This is why DBA recommends that suspicion of fraud/scam must always be reported to the police. Once the case is with the police, DBA can cooperate with the police and hand over information when ordered to do so by the judges/courts (dommerkendelse).

However, DBA recommends contacting their customer service for help, either before finishing a deal, or to get help with further procedures, if a buyer suspects fraud.

“For instance, if a buyer is worried about the validity of a seller, our customer service can contact the seller on behalf of the buyer,” says DBA.