Seems identity fraud is on the up in the U.S., at least as regards to tax fraud. In 2008 there were 52,000 cases and in 2010 reported were 245,000 cases!
However a significant number was due to mistaken flagging of dead projects using social security numbers. Actual known victims of fraud are 56,000, but that is still a lot, and significant if you happen to be one of them.
What is interesting is how a person’s social security number is stolen, full list is here at blog reuters. The list includes dishonest employees with access to personal records, hacking, dumpster diving, etc.
In Sweden your personal ID is often handed out when you purchase something, or to get membership, whatever, it is used everywhere and this means that just about anyone can get hold of your ID number, which is not so complicated to work out either as includes your date of birth as first 6 digits. This in theory would make identity fraud easy in Sweden, although I haven’t seen much said about it yet. It could be that much is tightly tied in to a central authority, but normally I would have seen this as a core weakness.
Maybe I am missing something in the local news? Comments from my Swedish friends?