4528.0 - Personal Fraud, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/04/2016   
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SCAM FRAUD

HOW MANY AUSTRALIANS WERE EXPOSED TO SCAMS? (Table 7)

In the 12 months prior to survey in 2014-15, just over half of the Australian population aged 15 and over were exposed to at least one scam (56% or 10.4 million). This was an increase from 2010-11, where the proportion of persons aged 15 and over exposed to at least one scam was 36% (6.4 million).

WHAT SCAMS WERE AUSTRALIANS WERE EXPOSED TO? (Table 11)

Lottery scam was the most common scam type, with 31% (5.9 million) of the population aged 15 and over exposed to this type of scam. This was followed by computer support scam (29% or 5.5 million), and information request scam (27% or 5.1 million).

Graph Image for Persons exposed to selected scams, Exposure rate(a), Australia, 2014-15

Footnote(s): (a) Total number of persons who were exposed to the scam, expressed as a percentage of all persons aged 18 years and over.

Source(s): Persons exposed to selected scams, Exposure rate(a), Australia, 2014-15-Persons exposed to selected scams, Australia, 2014-15 v2

HOW MANY AUSTRALIANS RESPONDED TO SCAMS? (Table 7)

Nationally, of the 10.4 million persons exposed to a scam, 4% (449,100) responded to at least one scam, either by supplying personal information, money or both, or by seeking more information in relation to the request. This represented 2.4% of the population aged 15 years and over. This was a decrease from 2010-11 where 2.9% of the population (514,500) responded to at least one scam.

WHAT SCAMS DID AUSTRALIANS RESPOND TO? (Table 11)

Of persons exposed to scams, more people responded to a computer support scam (113.000 or 0.6% of the population) than online trading or auction site scam (91,800 or 0.5%), or information request scam (72,900 or 0.4%).

The responding rate (proportion of persons exposed to a particular scam type who responded) was highest for online trading or auction site scam with nearly 10% of persons exposed to this type of scam responding to it.

Graph Image for Persons responding to selected scams, Australia, 2014-15

WHO RESPONDED TO SCAMS? (Table 13)

Persons aged 35 to 44 were most likely to respond to a scam (3.2% or 100,600 persons in that age group). Persons aged 15 to 24 were least likely to respond to a scam (1.7% or 50,800 persons in that age group).

Unemployed persons were more likely to respond to at least one scam (4.0%) than employed persons (2.6%) and persons not in the labour force (2.0%).

HOW MUCH TIME WAS LOST AS A RESULT OF THE MOST SERIOUS SCAM INCIDENT? (Table 4)

Half of all people (52% or 235,000) responding to a scam lost less than an hour of their time as a result of the incident.

WHAT WERE THE MOST SERIOUS SCAM INCIDENTS RESPONDED TO? (Table 14)

When asked about the most serious scam incident responded to, 24% (or 108,900 persons) indicated that this was a computer support scam. This was followed by online trading or auction site scam (21% or 94,900) and information request scam (15% or 68,200).

HOW WERE SCAMS RECEIVED IN THE MOST SERIOUS INCIDENT? (TABLE 14)

About three in five (61% or 274,700) scam offers in the most serious incident were received over the internet (including 39% by email, 7% by social media and 15% by another way over the internet). This was followed by phone call (25% or 114,300).

Graph Image for Persons responding to selected scams, how offer was received for most recent incident, Australia, 2014-15



HOW DID PEOPLE RESPOND TO THEIR MOST SERIOUS SCAM? (TABLE 14)

The most common way persons responded to a scam offer was to ask for more information (34% or 153,400). This was followed by accessing a website (30% or 134,600).

HOW DID PEOPLE BECOME AWARE THEY WERE BEING SCAMMED IN THEIR MOST SERIOUS INCIDENT? (Table 14)

Nearly half of persons who responded to a scam became aware it was a scam based on their own suspicions (48% or 214,200).

WAS THE MOST SERIOUS SCAM INCIDENT REPORTED? (Table 14)

Just over a third (36% or 159,600) of persons responding to a scam reported the incident to an agency. Of persons who responded to a scam, 70,900 reported the incident to a business, 49,800 to another agency, 42,900 to police and 17,400 to consumer affairs or an ombudsman.

HOW DID BEHAVIOUR CHANGE AFTER EXPERIENCING AT LEAST ONE SCAM? (Table 14)

Of persons who responded to a scam, 60% (268,900) changed their behaviour after experiencing a scam. The most common change in behaviour was to become more careful or aware (240,600), followed by ceasing to engage with, ignoring, or no longer dealing with the organisation or person (69,300).