4528.0 - Personal Fraud, 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2008   
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Contents >> Chapter 2 >> Victims of Identity Fraud

VICTIMS OF IDENTITY FRAUD

INTRODUCTION

This chapter presents results about victims of identity fraud. Identity fraud comprises bank or credit card fraud and identity theft. Theft of identity includes the fraudulent use of personal details such as a drivers licence or tax file number, without permission, or illegally appropriating another person's identity for unauthorised gain.


Identity fraud

In the 12 months prior to the survey, there were nearly half a million (499,500) victims of identity fraud. This represented a victimisation rate of 3.1%. There were 134,500 victims of identity fraud with a personal weekly income of less than $499, representing a victimisation rate of 2%. Those with a weekly personal income of $2,500 or more comprised 29,900 victims with a victimisation rate of 9.1%.


Credit or bank card fraud

Of Australians experiencing credit or bank card fraud in the previous 12 months (383,300 people or 2.4%), 78% (or 297,500) were employed, 70% (or 267,200) were born in Australia, 67% (or 258,500) were married, and 43% (or 166,500) had a highest educational attainment of at least a diploma, degree or other higher qualification.

The 35 to 44 years age group had the highest number (101,900 or 27%) of victims of credit or bank card fraud.

For the most recent incident, more victims (111,900 people or 29%) had their credit or bank card details obtained from them in person, than through internet or telephone based transactions. All victims of credit or bank card fraud incurred a financial loss; 26% reported losing between $101-$500, while 25% lost less than $100. Victims with losses of more than $10,001 comprised 3% of victims.

Incidents were reported to a law enforcement agency, financial institution or other formal entity by 76% of victims. For the majority of victims (66% or 253,800 people), only one incident of credit or bank card fraud had been discovered in the previous 12 months. Refer to Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 16 to 17 for more information on the counting of credit or bank card fraud incidents.


Identity theft

In the 12 months prior to the survey, there were 124,000 victims of identity theft, comprising 68,900 (56%) men and 55,100 (44%) women. The 25 to 34 years age group had the highest number of victims (34,400 or 28%).

In the 12 months prior to the survey, there were 20,100 (16%) victims who reported a financial loss as a result of the most recent incident of identity theft. These incidents were reported to a law enforcement agency, financial institution or other formal entity by 57% of victims; 27,700 or 22% reported the incident to police, while 41,400 (43%) reported it to other agencies.


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