1 in 9 Australians experienced personal fraud in 2020-21
2.1 million Australians (11 per cent) experienced one or more types of personal fraud in 2020-21, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The 2020-21 Personal Fraud Survey asked respondents about their experiences of personal fraud including card fraud, identity theft, and selected types of scams.
ABS Director of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics, Will Milne said: “The results showed an increase in the rate of personal fraud, from 8.5 per cent in 2014-15, to 11 per cent in 2020-21. This was driven by an increase in the rate of card fraud (from 5.9 per cent to 6.9 per cent) and scams (from 2.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent).”
The types of scams that Australians experience have also changed over time.
“Since 2014-15, victimisation rates have increased for information request or phishing scams (from 0.4 per cent to 1.0 per cent), buying or selling scams (from 0.5 per cent to 0.8 per cent) and upfront payment scams (from 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent),” Mr Milne said.
The survey found that most experiences of card fraud and identity theft came to the attention of authorities.
“The majority of those experiencing identity theft (93 per cent) and card fraud (95 per cent) reported the most recent incident to an authority – most commonly a bank or financial institution,” Mr Milne said.
In contrast only half (50 per cent) of those who experienced a scam said they reported the scam to an authority.
“The reporting rate varied by scam type, ranging from 23 per cent for computer support scams to 65 per cent for buying or selling scams,” Mr. Milne said.
Further results from the survey are available in Personal Fraud, 2020-21.
“The data showed us that 1 in 9 Australians aged 15 and over have experienced personal fraud in the last 12 months. So, we’re talking about two-point-one million people experiencing card fraud, identity theft and scams.”
“Since we last ran the survey six years ago, the rate of personal fraud has increased from eight-point-five per cent to eleven per cent of Australians, and this was driven by increases in card fraud and scams.”
“In the last twelve months, we found one-point-four million Australians experienced card fraud, and just over seven-hundred-and-twenty thousand responded to a scam, such as providing money or their personal details.”
“We found that more than nine in ten reported their most recent incident of card fraud or identity theft to an authority, most often a bank. However, we did find that only half of those who experienced a scam reported their incident.”
- Survey population includes Australians aged 15 years and over.
- Card fraud involves the use of credit, debit, or EFTPOS card details to make purchases or withdraw cash without the account owner's permission.
- Identity theft is the use of someone's personal details in stolen, fraudulent, or forged documents 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.
- Respondents were asked about whether they reported their most recent incident (most serious incident for scams) experienced in the last 12 months (5 years for identity theft) to an authority.
- Reporting authorities include bank or financial institution, credit card company, social media or selling site, government organisation or department, police, and other.
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