mySafety Insurances' annual Sifo poll: the number of ID hijacked continues to increase.
For the third consecutive year, we asked Kantar Sifo to conduct a poll on the number of victims of ID theft in Sweden. For each year the study was conducted, the crimes have increased in scope. In 2014, 116,000 Swedes were affected and the following year the number had increased to 164,000. This year's poll shows that approximately 190,000 Swedes were ID hijacked last year. This represents a total increase of 64% over three years.
OVER 5,000 SWEDES ARE ID HIJACKED EVERY DAY
mySafety Insurances' Sifo poll shows that, broken down, approximately 520 people are ID hijacked every day in Sweden. This corresponds to 21 people per hour or 1 person every 3 minutes.
DIFFERENT TRENDS OVER THE YEARS
According to my mySafety Insurances' first poll, young people were more prone to ID thefts. The following year, the number of victims of ID theft or ID hijacking online had increased most in the age group 30-44 years, suggesting that fraudsters have begun to target professionals and more affluent people. This year's Sifo poll shows that fraudsters are targeting the elderly and women.
– What this shows, in fact, is that anyone can become a victim of ID theft. The various differences between the years represents a levelling in both age groups and gender. We also see this in the cases that come before us. Among the victims are young and old, women and men from across the country, says PA Prabert, Vice President of mySafety Insurances.
GEOGRAPHICALLY VULNERABLE AREAS
Residents of Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne are the most affected by ID theft. The latest poll from mySafety Insurances and Kantar Sifo saw a rise in some smaller counties. Örebro County is the fourth most affected county. There, ID thefts have increased by 380% from last year.
MANY PEOPLE CLAIM TO BE CAUTIOUS – BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH
There is a high level of awareness of ID theft as a crime. In the latest poll from mySafety Insurances and Kantar Sifo, 25% claimed that they are fully aware of what an ID theft is, while 59% are quite sure of the meaning. 15% are uncertain of the meaning, while only 1% are unfamiliar with the term. One in three Swedes is worried about becoming a victim of ID hijacking.
– More and more people report that they never disclose sensitive information via email and SMS, that they use multiple and more sophisticated passwords and put locks on their mailboxes. Unfortunately, this is very much a false security. Most ID thefts are more advanced, or actually simpler, than that, and occur without any personal contact between the fraudster and the victim. The fraudster typically buys something in the name of someone else, which only requires a name and a personal identity number. In Sweden, it is very easy to access personal identity numbers because they are publicly available. So, if they wish, fraudsters have our personal identity numbers just a phone call away, says PA Prabert, Vice President of mySafety Insurances.
SUMMARY OF THIS YEAR'S POLL:
- Women most vulnerable
- 60-74 years the most affected group of all
- The poll shows a trend. 3 years ago, the youngest were the hardest hit. Then middle-aged men. Now the elderly.
- Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne the three hardest hit. Örebro increases sharply this year, finishing in fourth place (up 380%).
- The most common way of becoming a victim is when someone buys products/services in the name of someone else. The second most common way is when someone steals money directly from someone else's account. Taking out a loan in someone else's name comes third.
- Most people, 80%, are careful never to disclose bank or card details via email, SMS or social media.
- Around 60% say they never throw “sensitive” documents in the trash.
- Using strong and different passwords on different services comes third as a counter-measure.
- Topping the list of main concerns is having your phone, card or wallet stolen with 32% followed by being the victim of ID theft with 30%.