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Link: Ditching paper money makes Sweden a haven for digital criminals

"The fraudsters are so skilled at making things look legitimate,” said Bagley, who was born after BankID was created. "It’s not easy” to identify scams. Although financial crime has garnered fewer headlines than a surge in gang-related gun violence, it’s become a growing risk for the country. Beyond its borders, Sweden is an important test case on fighting cashless crime because it’s gone further on ditching paper money than almost any other country in Europe. Online fraud and digital crime in Sweden have surged, with criminals taking 1.2 billion kronor in 2023 through scams like the one Bagley fell for, doubling from 2021. Law enforcement agencies estimate that the size of Sweden’s criminal economy could amount to as high as 2.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. It’s not just consumer scams. Government agencies have adopted BankID to make it easy to set up legitimate businesses in Sweden, which has also enabled fraudsters. Some have used fake companies with phony payrolls to launder money. Through such schemes, organized criminals can turn income from fraud and drug sales into a tool to get bank loans and extract payments from the welfare system. "That means you can generate profits from crime and then ultimately get a state pension based on that income,” said Larson, the Swedish prosecutor. "That is extremely offensive.” #


Yoooo, this is a quick note on a link that made me go, WTF? Find all past links here.