In 2012, some 65,000 Swedes had their identities stolen, becoming victims of crimes running the gamut from loans taken out in their name, or the thief shopping on their credit line.
“The net gives anonymity. We solve very few cases, far too few,” Lars Minnedal, at the fraud unit at the Stockholm police, told the TT news agency.
“It’s a huge problem. About half of all fraud cases in some way have to do with stolen identities. There is nothing to indicate we’ll see less of these crimes in the future.”
The Swedish Theft Prevention Association (Svenska Stöldskyddsföreningen), meanwhile, said one way to make it harder for criminals to perform certain crimes with a stolen identity is to let people in Sweden pause their personal identity number (personnummer).
Doing so means a person can’t perform a credit check on their victim, and it becomes harder to apply for a loan or credit, the association noted.