QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT), established in March 2005, comprises a number of Government regulatory agencies and departments who have a remit for consumer protection in relation to frauds and scams. Attendees at the ACFT Roundtable in October 2006 agreed that there was a high priority need to establish baseline prevalence and characteristic information in the area of personal fraud. Personal and consumer frauds are seen to be a fast expanding and evolving area of crime, but it is difficult to get a sense of the prevalence of this issue in Australia. Input into the development and funding of the Personal Fraud Survey was provided by most members of the ACFT.
The Personal Fraud Survey was conducted throughout Australia from July to December 2007. The survey was a component of the 2007-08 Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS), collected as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey (LFS). One person aged 15 years or over was randomly selected from each in-scope household to be interviewed for the survey.
The Personal Fraud Survey provides information on people's experiences of personal fraud in the 12 months prior to interview, including their exposure to a range of selected scams; whether they were a victim of identity fraud or a range of selected scams; and characteristics of the most recent incident, such as whether any financial loss was incurred.
Data from the Personal Fraud Survey were released six months after the completion of enumeration in December.
Of the 16,100 private dwellings selected in the Personal Fraud Survey, 89% fully responded, resulting in a final sample of 14,320 persons.
Refer to Explanatory Notes (paragraph 4-6) for more information on the scope of the survey. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia has only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for around 23% of the population.
The MPHS was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level, and due to the low victimisation rates for most fraud types, estimates can only reliably be given at broad level classifications. Some estimates are available for states and territories, however users should exercise caution when using data at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. The Relative Standard Errors (RSEs) may be too high if finer cross-tabulations of the data are attempted.
RSEs for all estimates in the publication will be available on the ABS website in July. As a guide, the calculation of an RSE on an estimate in Table 1 are presented in the Technical Note (paragraph 8).
The 2007 Personal Fraud Survey represents the first national survey of personal fraud victimisation in Australia. As a result, no Australian data were available for direct comparison.
The survey results were compared to available international sources of information. Differences in definitions, scope and collection methods make comparisons difficult, however where limited comparison was possible the results of the Personal Fraud Survey appear relatively consistent with other findings.
The Personal Fraud Survey publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.
In addition to the PDF publication, the tables and associated RSEs will be available in spreadsheet form on the website in July 2008.
Customised data are available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised or not available for release.
An expanded confidentialised unit record file (cat. no. 4100.0) will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in early 2009.
For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.