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CRIME

Phone fraud more prevalent in Norway than other Nordics

Norway is much more exposed to scam calls than its neighbours, figures have revealed. In January, telecommunications firm Telia blocked nearly twice as many fraudulent calls in Norway than in Sweden or Denmark.

People on their phones.
Telia blocked more fraudulent calls in Norway than they did in Sweden or Denmark last month. Pictured is a stock photo of people using their phones. Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

During January, telecommunications firm Telia blocked just over 4 million fraudulent calls in Norway, nearly twice as many as in Denmark and Sweden, public broadcaster NRK reports.

Methods phone scammers use include phishing, where fraudulent callers send a message designed to trick the recipient into revealing sensitive information, and spoofing, where a cybercriminal pretends to be somebody else.

Telia has meanwhile noted a new scam on the rise in Norway called “Wangiri”. Wangiri- which in Japanese means “one ring and cut”- sees scammers call, allow the phone to ring once and then end the call. The aim is to get people to call back and incur high fees.

READ ALSO: How to switch to a Norwegian phone number

“It’s difficult to answer why (Norway is exposed to more phone scams), but those who do this (Wangiri scams) have realised that Norwegians call back. They probably have a higher hit rate in Norway,” Øivind Kristiansen of Telia told NRK.

“It may be that we are a little too naive and gullible,” he added.

Telia has said that to avoid becoming the victim of a Wangiri scam people shouldn’t answer or call back foreign numbers they don’t recognise.

Frank Stein, from the National Communication Authority, said that trying to stamp out scammers was a game of cat and mouse.

“There are many things that work against this. People are getting wiser, but on the other hand, attacks are getting smarter. It’s a cat and mouse game: one does not always know who is who. It’s the security industry in a nutshell,” he explained to NRK.

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KONGSBERG ATTACK

Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

A Danish man pleaded guilty at his trial Wednesday to having stabbed five people to death and having fired arrows at others in an attack in Norway last year.

Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

Espen Andersen Brathen, a 38-year-old Dane living in Norway, allegedly used a bow and arrow inside and outside a supermarket before stabbing to death five other residents in the southeastern town of Kongsberg in October.

 Brathen entered the pleas when asked to respond to the charges of murder and attempted murder at the court in the town of Hokksund. “Everything, I admit everything,” he said, at the start of his trial.

While Norwegian police had initially suspected some kind of terror attack, they quickly believed it was the work of an unbalanced individual.

Brathen had been living for years in Kongsberg, home to about 25,000 people some 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the capital Oslo, and authorities have said he has a medical history, although details have not been made public.

The Norwegian security services PST, which are responsible for counter-terrorism, also said the man had been on their radar.

He was arrested 35 minutes after the first reports of an attack and was swiftly moved to a medical institution.

Three experts who observed him concluded that the suspect was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Both the prosecution and the defence argued that he could not be held criminally responsible and advocated a psychiatric commitment rather than a prison sentence.

According to the prosecution, Brathen was armed with a bow, 60 arrows and four knives on the day of the attacks. His victims were four women and one man aged from 52 to 78.

The trial is scheduled to last until June 17, with a verdict expected in the following weeks.

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