Back in 2021, I lived a horror story for a few days: someone copied my ID card, used it to get my information, and attempted to get a loan under my name for $67k (670.000 SEK), full story below. I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I actually got warned and eventually saved by my ID theft protection service, UC ID Skydd.
Since then, I realized how important it was to have ID protection at hand, and that’s why I’m writing this article to share my story. You wouldn’t believe how common ID theft is! In Sweden, one ID fraud every 3 minutes (3 PER MINUTE in the United States and almost 4 in Europe). What? Yes, you read it right; it says per minute.
How I Got My ID Stolen
Barcelona, December 2021. I was out traveling with friends right before Christmas. It was a lovely weekend, full of people everywhere, nice restaurants, activities, and things to do. Barcelona is very lively! I traveled out with Lufthansa on this flight from Stockholm.
My friends were coming from Argentina, so they didn’t have roaming included in their mobile phone subscriptions. We went to a local shop in La Rambla to get a local prepaid SIM card from Orange so that they could text, use maps, and upload things to social media.
At the shop, they said they had those cards, but they needed to activate them right there through their system. It sounded weird but plausible. So we went ahead and asked for one. Then, they asked for an ID, so that they could populate the phone number data with my name and ID number.
Naively, I believed the story and handed out my Swedish ID to the cashier. MISTAKE.
She immediately took a picture of both sides of the ID behind the counter and sent it via WhatsApp to someone on the other side. I realized right away and came by to ask why. She said that “his brother was the one who activated the lines through the computer, and he was sitting in their home.” I panicked because now someone had a copy of my ID.
Whatsapp has a feature called “delete for all,” but at that time, it only lasted 15 minutes. I asked her to delete the picture and unsend it in the conversation, but when she showed me the phone, the whole phone was in Arabic, so I had no clue what the options said and what she was pressing!
After a heated discussion with her, we just paid the $10 and left. When we walked out of the store, we found out that the SIM card was not activated, and we received instructions on how to do so via text message. No photo of the ID is required, and as a foreigner, you can even use a dummy ID number and address. We could have done it ourselves!
I freaked out for a few days but then relaxed, I kept repeating to myself, “Nothing will happen, who cares about my Swedish ID in Spain?”.
A photo of my ID was sent to a random guy via Whatsapp. I couldn’t delete it and I didn’t know if he had kept a copy on his local computer or phone. It was my mistake, but it was already too late when I realized it.
After that weekend, I went back to Sweden. A few weeks passed until one day, I received an SMS and email from UC ID Skydd notifying me that there had been several credit checks under my name. It felt really strange and took me by surprise, so I went online to have a look as soon as I got home.
Apparently, my ID number was used to get more information about me, such as my address, because in Sweden all our information is public! Then, the thefts had used this information to try to get SMS loans and personal loans for a total amount of 670.000 SEK (approximately $67,000 USD). Crap!
I don’t know how they actually do it, but it’s not too hard to go online and find outlets to sell a real ID from someone or hand out personal information to commit ID fraud. You can find Telegram groups for pretty much any kind of crime you want, so it’s very likely that they sold my ID to someone who tried to scam me.
I had to report my ID as stolen to Skatteverket, and then go get a new one. Also, the customer service at UC ID Skydd took care of everything and advised me on what to do, step by step. Luckily, my UC credit rating was protected, as they had marked these attempts as fraud. Also, if something were to happen, they reimburse you for legal costs and even financial loss of up to 500.000 SEK.
Overall, the whole situation was awful, but the silver lining was that the experience was smooth and straightforward, thanks to my ID theft protection. Sure, it is never something you are looking forward to using, and I hope it never happens to you or to anyone, but when it happens, it’s great to have support to get out of these situations.
I believe I pay around 139kr per month for 2 people, and at that level, it’s totally worth it for the amount of pain they save. UC ID Skydd is one option, but many others are out there. No matter which company is providing the service, get one! It will save you headaches.
UC ID Skydd Review (2023)
What is UC ID Skydd?
UC ID Skydd (ID protection) is a service that protects your personal data and helps you if you have been the victim of ID theft. No identity protection can completely protect you against ID theft, but you get the best conditions for detecting identity theft in time.
Being subjected to an ID hijacking is an unpleasant experience that can take time to detect and cause great damage. UC ID-Skydd protects your credit rating and monitors your personal data online, so you can feel safe.
What is ID Hijacking?
ID hijacking or ID theft is when someone else uses your identity to enter into financial agreements and make unauthorized purchases under your name without authorization. It could be that the fraudster hijacks your identity in order to:
- Take credits and loans
- Sign up for a phone subscription
- Order goods and services against invoice
Hijacking someone’s identity is easy! Many scams start, for example, with a change of address or someone taking over your inbox. If the hijacker gains control of your email, then it is easy to order a credit card, take out a telephone subscription, buy against an invoice, or take out an SMS loan under your name.
Hacking identities over the internet is also common, as it happened to me. In just a few days, a fraudster can make off with a lot of money, without you even noticing a thing.
How Does UC ID Skydd Works?
UC ID Skydd monitors your personal data via your UC credit report and also online. If there is a credit report without your knowledge, you get a message from them right away, which allows you to act rapidly. UC ID Skydd agents will help you and hopefully prevent further damage. Their service also includes monitoring your personal data on both the public network and the darknet.
The darknet monitoring is really cool, similar to what Apple does with their iPhones. They monitor email accounts and passwords leaked out publicly or sold in the darknet and tell you to change those accounts.
UC ID Skydd helps you in four different ways:
- Guarding and Monitoring: They keep track of your data online & offline. Time is precious when it comes to ID theft, so you will be notified immediately when a credit report is taken via UC.
- Acting: ID experts are available 24/7 by phone and help you act quickly in the event of ID theft.
- Limiting: In case of a fraud event, their agents take over the case and help you through the entire process. Through a power of attorney, you get real help to dispute invoices, place a fraud lock or remove incorrect remarks.
- Compensating: UC ID Skydd covers financial loss and possible legal costs. Up to 200.000 kr in the case of financial loss and up to 500.000 kr in the case of legal protection.
What happens if I still get hijacked?
If, against all odds, you become the victim of an ID hijacking, you will also receive help with the following:
- If there are invoices or payment notes that are incorrect, their assistants can take over and solve the matters for you; you just need to give UC ID Skydd a power of attorney. That’s it.
- Should the fraud as a result of identity theft have caused financial loss, you will be compensated up to 200.000 SEK.
- If legal help or legal costs have been required to pursue the case, this is covered by our legal protection up to 500.000 SEK.
14-day right of withdrawal
When you buy UC ID Skydd, you always have a 14-day right of cancellation. This always applies when you buy something remotely, for example, on the internet or over the phone.
UC ID Skydd has attractive pricing packages with discounts if you want to add your partner or even whole family.
You log in with BankID, and invite to your group under My Settings. UC ID-Skydd has a 12-month commitment period; payment is debited to the customer’s card.
Bonus: 7 Tips to Be Safe Online
- Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Create complex passwords using letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using obvious choices like your name, birth date, or trivial number sequences. Each account should have a unique password to prevent one data breach from affecting all your accounts. Pro tip: there are several tools out there to help you generate strong passwords.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification beyond just your password. This could be a text message, an email, or an authentication app. Pro tip: Use Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, etc.
- Beware of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or calls asking for your personal information. Legitimate organizations usually won’t ask for sensitive information through these channels.
- Use a Secure Network: Avoid transmitting personal information or making transactions on unsecured networks, like public Wi-Fi. Use a virtual private network (VPN) for added security if necessary.
- Keep Software and Systems Updated: Regularly update your devices’ operating systems and applications. Updates often include security enhancements to protect against known threats.
- Monitor Your Financial and Digital Accounts: Regularly review your bank, credit card, and other financial statements for unusual activity. Also, check your email and social media accounts for any changes you didn’t make.
- Use Identity Protection Services: Consider using services that monitor your credit and alert you to changes or suspicious activity.
How to protect your social security number?
In Sweden, because of the principle of transparency so embedded in the society, all your information is public! Then it is very easy to get to know your data.
You can protect your social security number by, for example:
- Get a digital mailbox (like Kivra).
- Block address change at the tax office.
- Do not say your social security number out loud.
- Do not click on links in unknown emails.
- Activate Bank ID at Klarna.
- Shop from secure websites (Check for HTTPS and enable secure purchases on your browser).
Conclusion: Why You Need ID Theft Protection
Let’s face it, we are all tired of getting insurances, right? I feel they are everyone’s necessary evil. We don’t want them, but we need them. I wasn’t aware of how important ID theft protection was until the day it saved me from a big pain. I was lucky enough to have subscribed to it by chance. There was a big discount for the yearly plan, and I decided to test it out because I already was a minUC Kreditkollen customer.
UD ID-Skydd is one of the best ID protection services in Sweden. They are directly linked to UC, it protects your credit score, notify you right away from any suspicious activity, and their agents even take care of the paperwork if something happens, with a power of attorney, on your behalf. In those situations, most often, you are in shock, so having a team that helps you think and tells you what to do is extremely valuable. Their darkweb monitoring service is also handy, as UC ID-Skydd will notify you when your passwords are no longer safe and should be changed.
The only downside I can think of is that you must commit to 12 months when signing up, and they don’t offer shorter terms. But if you do the math, 1000 SEK a year for being protected is totally worth it.
It doesn’t matter which service you choose; just get ID protection – there are multiple out there. You will feel more protected knowing that if something were to happen, there’s a whole team behind you to solve those issues, and you can get compensated.