‘Disabled’ fraudster nabbed in massive scam

A suspected fraudster in northern Sweden is under investigation for allegedly swindling the state out of 20 million kronor ($3 million) by claiming to be disabled, in what is being described as one of the biggest scams of its kind in recent years.

'Disabled' fraudster nabbed in massive scam

The Sundsvall resident tricked the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) over a period of several years by claiming compensation for an aid assistant that wasn’t actually needed.

“The person in question seems to have duped the whole community,” said Petter Källman, head of the financial crimes unit at the Sundsvall police, to the local Dagbladet newspaper.

An unidentified source tipped off the agency in January, prompting an investigation which was later turned over to police.

“This is one of the biggest frauds in recent years, that’s for sure,” said the agency’s own investigator Svante Borg to the TT news agency.

The police say they now have firm evidence implicating the fraudster, collected through surveillance and witness questioning.

Prosecutor Lo Jonsson, who is heading the preliminary investigation in Sundsvall, remained tightlipped about the case, refusing even to reveal the suspect’s gender.

“I don’t intend to say anything about this investigation. I think it’s extremely unfortunate that it has leaked out to the media,” she told the paper.

She added that a “great deal” of work remained before the investigation was finished and charges could be filed.

A number of similar cases have cropped up in Sweden over the last few years, with con artists capitalizing on Sweden’s generous benefits for people with disabilities.

TT/The Local/og

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Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents

German police have set up a special team to fight a growing number of forged vaccine certificates being sold in the black market

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents
People who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Police in Cologne have warned of a group of fraudsters selling fake vaccination certificates, a growing problem the scale of which is still unclear.

The police said the fraudsters worked in encrypted Telegram chats, making investigations difficult, and were selling fake documents with all the stamps and signatures, including a mark about vaccination with BioNTech or AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Germany probes Covid-19 testing centres for fraud

The fraud involved both real traffic in fake documents as well as scams luring customers into paying €100.

People in Germany who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Those who don’t have a booklet get a piece of paper.

Covid health passes are currently being rolled out across the EU, with a European health passport expected to be available from mid-June.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Over 44% of the adult population in Germany has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 18% of Germans have been fully vaccinated.

German police have said forged coronavirus vaccine documents are becoming an increasing problem.

Last month, a couple in Baden-Württemberg was accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates.