A chain letter is an invitation in the form of a letter or email to send a specified amount of money or goods to an unknown person. There is a list of names and money or goods are sent to the name at the top of a list. That name is then removed and the recipients of the chain letter adds their own name to the bottom of the list before sending the letter or email to a number of other people. For the purposes of this survey chain letters that did not ask for money or goods to be sent, or only asked for goods of negligible value, were excluded.
Credit or bank card fraud
Credit or bank card fraud involves the use of credit or bank card details to make purchases or withdraw cash without the account owner's permission. For the purposes of this survey, credit or bank card fraud also included the fraudulent use of debit cards.
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
A person was considered to have been exposed to a scam if they received an unsolicited invitation, request, notification or offer, and viewed or read the unsolicited material. Exposure does not necessarily involve responding to the scam.
Fake notification or offer from a bank or financial institution
A fake notification or offer is an offer, request or invitation which appears to be from a bank or other financial institution and is designed to obtain personal information, money or another financial benefit from a person. Offers may be received over the phone (including by SMS), in person, by email, post or any other correspondence which was opened and read. When conducted electronically, these scams often purport to be from a legitimate bank, but actually direct a person to a hoax website to verify their account details.
Fake notification or offer from an established business
A fake notification or offer is an offer, request or invitation which appears to be from an established business (e.g. pay pal) and is designed to obtain personal information, money or another financial benefit from a person. Offers may be received over the phone (including by SMS), in person, by email, post or any other correspondence which was opened and read. When conducted electronically, these scams often purport to be from a legitimate business but actually direct a person to a hoax website to verify their account details.
Financial loss relates to all incidents experienced in the last 12 months (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 credit 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 theft is the use of someone's personal details without permission, or otherwise illegally appropriating another's identity (for example, using a drivers licence or tax file number in stolen, fraudulent or forged documents, conducting business, opening accounts or taking out loans illegally in another person's name).
Identity fraud involves the theft of personal details without a person's consent. The person's name, date of birth, address, financial details or other personal details are then used to engage in fraudulent activities, such as conducting business, purchasing goods, withdrawing cash, opening accounts, taking out loans or avoiding criminal liability. This comprises of identity theft and credit or bank card fraud.
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 victims who had lost money.
Median financial loss
Median financial loss is calculated by arranging, from smallest to largest, the total financial losses for each victim 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 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.
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 scams are scams not separately identified in the survey. This includes fraudulent door-to-door sales, fraudulent repair work, advance fee scams, unsolicited fraudulent financial advice, etc.
Personal income is gross weekly personal income from all sources.
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.
Reporting rates refer to the volume of experienced scam incidents where an agency such as the police, bank or financial institution, consumer affairs/ombudsman or business were notified by the victim or another person, to the victim's knowledge.
Request to send bank details to another person
Request to send bank details to another person is a request by a person (that is. not a bank, financial institution or business) for another person to send them their bank details, such as an account number, password, credit card details. The request may be made by phone (including by SMS), in person, by email, post or any other correspondence which was opened and read.
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 victims of credit 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 victim.
Victimisation rate is the total number of victims of a personal fraud type in a given population, expressed as a percentage of that population.
A victim is a person who has experienced credit or bank 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.