26 September 2023

ABS finds fewer Aussies duped by scams

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Two thirds of Australia’s population were exposed to a scam last financial year, according to figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Head of Crime and Justice Statistics at the ABS, William Milne said results of the Personal Fraud Survey showed that 65 per cent of people 15 years and over received a scam offer or request in 2021-22, up from 55 per cent the previous year.

“So, we’re talking about 13.2 million people, which was up from 11.1 million in the previous financial year,” Mr Milne said

“People are exposed to scams in lots of ways, such as over the phone and via email,” he said.

“While we’ve seen an increase across all these modes, by far the largest increase is the number of people receiving scams by text messages, which has doubled in the last year from 23 per cent of Australians to 47 per cent.”

Mr Milne said that while more people were exposed to scams this year, the ABS found the number responding to scams had actually decreased to 552,000 or 2.7 per cent, down from 3.6 per cent in 2020-21.

He said the results showed people were becoming more aware of scams and were less likely to provide money, personal information or click on links associated with scams.

“Even though people are responding less to scams, when they do, they are now more likely to report to an authority,” Mr Milne said.

“We found that of the half a million people who responded to a scam this year, 57 per cent reported their most recent incident, which is up from 50 per cent last year.

He said about one third of victims reported to a bank or financial institution, which remained the most common authority scams were reported to.

“However, we have recently seen a notable increase in reporting to the police, up from 8.2 per cent in 2020-21 to 14 per cent in 2021-22,” Mr Milne said.

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