4528.0 - Personal Fraud, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/04/2016   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


Card fraud

Card fraud involves the use of credit, debit, or EFTPOS card details to make purchases or withdraw cash without the account owner's permission.

Computer support scam

A computer support scam is a fake offer over the phone, or through other means, to fix a problem with a computer.

Degree/diploma or higher education

Degree/diploma or higher education includes education qualifications of postgraduate degree, graduate diploma or graduate certificate, bachelor degree and advanced diploma or diploma.

Equivalised weekly household income

Equivalised household weekly income is gross weekly household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to gross weekly household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the gross weekly household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic well-being as the household in question.

Exposure to scams

Scams operate by presenting a person with a deceptive story, request or other lure, which results in the person responding to the scam in some manner, such as by providing or verifying personal details or money to the scammer. In this survey, a person was considered to have been exposed to a scam if they had:

received an unsolicited invitation, request, notification or offer; and
read or viewed the material.

It was not sufficient for the person to have received a piece of correspondence which was simply unwanted. Notifications or invitations which were received via email, but bypassed the person's inbox and were removed by a spam filter were excluded if the respondent did not open the message.

Financial advice scam

A financial advice scam is a fake offer to supply financial advice about topics such as investment and shares.

Financial loss

Financial loss relates to all incidents experienced in the last 12 months (as well as 5 years for identity theft). Respondents were asked to provide an approximate total amount of money lost as a result of all their incidents of each fraud type. For card frauds, this amounted to money lost before any form of reimbursement from authorities. For scams, this amounted to money lost through responding to the fraudulent invitation, request, notification or offer.


Fraud is the act of intentionally deceiving another for the purpose of gaining an advantage or benefit, whether financial or otherwise.

Identity fraud

Includes identity theft and card fraud.

Identity theft

Identity theft is the use of someone's personal details in stolen, fraudulent or forged documents without permission, or otherwise illegally appropriating another's identity.

Information request

An information request scam is where a person receives a fake notification or request from a bank or business to confirm personal details.


A lottery scam is where a person receives a fraudulent notification of having won a lottery or prize for a draw that they did not enter, and are asked to provide personal details or pay a fee in order to collect their prize or winnings. This excludes registered lotteries such as Readers Digest.

Mean financial loss

The mean financial loss is calculated by dividing total financial loss by the number of persons who had lost money.

Median financial loss

Median financial loss is calculated by arranging, from smallest to largest, the total financial losses for each person who lost money to personal fraud. The median is the number that divides these data into two equal parts, one half having total financial losses below the median and the other half having total financial losses above the median.

Non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. They include qualifications at the postgraduate degree level, master degree level, graduate diploma and graduate certificate level, bachelor degree level, advanced diploma and diploma level, and certificates I, II, III and IV levels. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications.

Online trading or auction site scam

An online trading or auction site scam is a fake offer to purchase goods advertised for sale, or the purchase of non-existent, stolen, or counterfeit goods.

Other non-school qualification

Other non-school qualification includes education qualifications of certificate I, II, III or IV, or other certificates that are not further defined.

Other type of scam

Other scams are scams not separately identified in the survey. These include fraudulent door-to-door sales, fraudulent repair work, advance fee scams, unsolicited fraudulent financial advice, and others.

Personal weekly income

Personal weekly income is gross weekly personal income from all sources.

Pyramid schemes

Pyramid schemes are a multi-level selling technique where the main feature is that earning money and gaining promotion depends on recruiting other people into the operations rather than selling a product or providing a service.

Relationship scam

A relationship scam is a request from someone the respondent has built an online relationship with (for example, through social media or an online dating website) for money, or the respondent's bank details.

Reporting rate

Reporting rate refers to the total number of persons who experienced personal fraud and reported the incident to an authority, expressed as a percentage of all persons.

Responding rate

Responding rate refers to the total number of persons who responded to a scam (by supplying personal information, money or both, or by seeking more information in relation to the request), expressed as a percentage of the total number of persons exposed to the scam.


A scam is a fraudulent invitation, request, notification or offer, designed to obtain personal information or money or otherwise obtain a financial benefit by deceptive means.

Total financial loss after reimbursement

For persons who experienced card fraud, this refers to the total financial loss after any reimbursement from the card issuer and reflects the out of pocket loss to the person.

Up-front payment scam

An up-front payment scam is a request from another person to send a large amount of money overseas, in return for a commission or fee paid for the assistance provided (for example, a Nigerian 419 scam).

Victimisation rate

Victimisation rate is the total number of persons who experienced a personal fraud type in a given population, expressed as a percentage of that population.


A victim is a person who has experienced card fraud, identity theft or a person who has not only received a fraudulent invitation, request or notification, but has also responded to that offer or request by supplying personal information, money or both, or seeking more information in relation to these requests.

Working from home scam

A working from home scam is a fake offer to work from home as a front for illegal activities (for example, money laundering).