4528.0 - Personal Fraud, 2007 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2008   
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June 27, 2008
Embargoed 1130 am (AEDT)
Nearly $1 billion dollars lost by Australians to personal fraud : ABS

Nearly one billion dollars ($980 million) was lost as a result of personal fraud according to the first National Personal Fraud Survey, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released today.

The survey, conducted in 2007, asked people aged 15 and over about their experiences relating to personal fraud incidents in the preceding 12 months. The survey found that 453,100 Australians lost on average $2,160 as a result of personal fraud.

Other results from the survey include:
  • A total of 806,000 Australians reported they were victims of at least one incident of personal fraud in the previous 12 months. This represented 5% of the population aged 15 years and over.
  • Half a million Australians experienced a form of identity fraud. The majority 383,300 (77%) were victims of credit or bank card fraud; identity theft accounted for the balance.
  • Nearly 6 million Australians (36%) were exposed to a range of selected scams; that is they received, viewed and/or read an unsolicited invitation, request or notification designed to obtain personal information or money or obtain a financial benefit by deceptive means.
  • 329,000 people fell victim to at least one type of scam by responding to or engaging with the unsolicited offer. The three main categories of selected scams were: lotteries (84,100 victims), pyramid schemes (70,900) and phishing and related scams (57,800).

Media Note: Personal fraud included: credit or bank card fraud, identity theft (includes the unauthorised use of a person's personal details), and the following selected scams; lotteries, pyramid schemes, phishing and related scams, financial advice, chain letters and advance fee fraud.

Further information is available in Personal Fraud, Australia 2007(cat. no. 4528.0), available free of charge from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.