26 September 2023

Stats Bureau finds scams beat victims last year

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Over two million Australians were the victims of personal fraud last financial year according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Director of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics at the ABS, Will Milne said the Bureau’s 2020-21 Personal Fraud Survey asked respondents about their experiences of personal fraud, including card fraud, identity theft and selected types of scams.

“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,” Mr Milne said.

“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),” he said.

The Director said the types of scams that Australians experienced had 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),” he 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 it 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,” he said.

Further results from the Survey can be accessed at this PS News link.

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