4528.0 - Personal Fraud, 2010-2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/04/2012   
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19 April 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)

Personal fraud costs Australians $1.4 billion

The Personal Fraud Survey for 2010-11 found that Australians lost $1.4 billion due to personal fraud, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The 2010-11 Personal Fraud Survey asked people aged 15 years and over about their experiences of personal fraud (which includes credit card fraud, identity theft, and scams). The survey results estimated that three in five victims of personal fraud (713,600 persons) lost money, an average of $2,000 per victim.

The 2010-11 survey estimated that a total of 1.2 million Australians, or 6.7% of the population aged 15 years and over, were a victim of at least one incident of personal fraud in the 12 months prior to interview. This is an increase from 2007 when there was an estimated 806,000 victims (5.0%) of personal fraud.

The survey results show:

  • 3.7% (662,300) of Australians were victims of credit card fraud, an increase from 2.4% in 2007.
  • 0.3% (44,700) of Australians were victims of identity theft, a decrease from 0.8% in 2007.
  • 2.9% (514,500) of Australians were victims of scams, an increase from 2.0% in 2007.

Further information is available in Personal Fraud, Australia, 2010–11 (cat. no. 4528.0). Available for free download from www.abs.gov.au

Media note:
  • Financial loss is for the 12 months prior to the interview in 2010-11 for credit card fraud and scams, and for the five years prior to the interview for identity theft.
  • 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.
  • Identity theft is the use of someone's personal details without permission, or otherwise illegally appropriating another's identity.
  • 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. There are a variety of types of scams, such as fake lotteries, chain letters and fake notifications from a bank, financial institution or business.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.