ID-theft increasing among young citizens

ID theft has risen by over 40 percent among young adults - just the past year. One explanation for the increase is that young people are less able to protect themselves while they are exposed to more threats because of their digital lifestyle.

- It is a very worrying development in society now that almost one million Swedes have been affected or know someone who has been exposed to an identity theft. In order to reverse this negative trend requires vigorous efforts to reduce crime, while individual consumers should protect themselves better, says Carl-Johan Thorsell, CEO mySafety Försäkringar AB.

The survey was conducted by TNS Sifo and includes 4201 interviews between the ages of 16-74 years. It is clear that awareness of identity theft is high. Only three percent of Swedes do not know about the concept at all, while more than three-quarters say they both heard about identity theft and know what it means.

It is also clear that more and more are affected or know someone who has suffered identity theft. In total there are more than 955 000, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2014. In the ages 16-29, the increase is 40 percent and now almost two out of five says that they know someone or that they themselves have been subject to identity theft.

- It is not unexpected that the young are hit the hardest, but the increase is remarkable. A digital lifestyle combined with that they are less able to protect themselves makes them more vulnerable. Young people today simply have to be more careful with their personal data, says Carl-Johan Thorsell.

For example, only 57 percent of 16-29 year olds who have their bank codes and bank cards under supervision, compared to 86 percent of those over 60 years. In all categories of ages, however, most are very careful not to share personal information in social media, or via email and SMS. However, only one in three has a lock on their mailboxes or has acquired a blocking service, which are two effective ways to stop identity theft.

When it comes to everyday crime, the Swedes worry mainly about their wallet and ID documents being stolen. Three in ten are somewhat or very concerned about being victims of ID theft. That compares to just one in eight being worried about getting their car, motorcycle or boat stolen.