‘Disabled’ fraudster nabbed in massive scam

A suspected fraudster in northern Sweden is under investigation for allegedly swindling the state out of 20 million kronor ($3 million) by claiming to be disabled, in what is being described as one of the biggest scams of its kind in recent years.

'Disabled' fraudster nabbed in massive scam

The Sundsvall resident tricked the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) over a period of several years by claiming compensation for an aid assistant that wasn’t actually needed.

“The person in question seems to have duped the whole community,” said Petter Källman, head of the financial crimes unit at the Sundsvall police, to the local Dagbladet newspaper.

An unidentified source tipped off the agency in January, prompting an investigation which was later turned over to police.

“This is one of the biggest frauds in recent years, that’s for sure,” said the agency’s own investigator Svante Borg to the TT news agency.

The police say they now have firm evidence implicating the fraudster, collected through surveillance and witness questioning.

Prosecutor Lo Jonsson, who is heading the preliminary investigation in Sundsvall, remained tightlipped about the case, refusing even to reveal the suspect’s gender.

“I don’t intend to say anything about this investigation. I think it’s extremely unfortunate that it has leaked out to the media,” she told the paper.

She added that a “great deal” of work remained before the investigation was finished and charges could be filed.

A number of similar cases have cropped up in Sweden over the last few years, with con artists capitalizing on Sweden’s generous benefits for people with disabilities.

TT/The Local/og

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‘Discount’ phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden

A 75-year-old woman in the Håbo municipality lost over 120,000 kronor (11,200 euros) on Friday after falling victim to a telephone scam.

'Discount' phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden
File photo: Anders Wiklund/ TT

The woman received a phone around lunchtime on Friday from a man who claimed he was calling from a telecommunications operator.

Following a method similar to others seen in telephone scams which target the elderly, the man is reported to have informed the woman that she had unused discounts and was required to log on to her online banking in order to activate them.

“He must have been persuasive, given that he convinced her to log on to her online bank,” Uppsala Police press spokesperson Linda Wideberg told Radio P4 Uppland, who reported the scam.

The incident is now being investigated as fraud, police said.

Other recent scams in Sweden have seen fake emails and text messages which purport to be from the Skatteverket tax authority. 

“Skatteverket will never ask for your account details via email or text message,” the tax agency said in a statement in June this year.