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Over 2m Aussies fall victim to scams and fraud

  • March 24 2022
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Over 2m Aussies fall victim to scams and fraud

By Jon Bragg
March 24 2022

One in nine people suffered card fraud, scams or another form of personal fraud during the last financial year.

scams and fraud

Over 2m Aussies fall victim to scams and fraud

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  • March 24 2022
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One in nine people suffered card fraud, scams or another form of personal fraud during the last financial year.

scams and fraud

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that 2.1 million Aussies fell victim to one or more types of personal fraud in the 2020-21 financial year.

An increase in card fraud and scams resulted in 11 per cent of the population experiencing at least one form of personal fraud during the financial year, up from 8.5 per cent in 2014-15.

Card fraud was found to be the most common type of fraud, affecting 6.9 per cent of individuals aged 15 and older or around 1.4 million people in total.

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An even higher percentage of Aussies aged between 35 to 44 (9.1 per cent), 45 to 54 (9.0 per cent) and 55 to 64 (8.1 per cent) fell victim to card fraud than those in other age groups.

In approximately one-third of incidents, victims said that their card details had been obtained over the internet, while 39 per cent did not know how their details were obtained.

95 per cent of the individuals who experienced card fraud reported the latest incident to an authority, including their bank or financial institution (88.7 per cent) or credit card company (15.3 per cent).

Meanwhile, more than 723,000 people or 3.6 per cent of the population experienced some type of scam during 2020-21, up from 2.4 per cent in 2014-15.

“Since 2014-15, victimisation rates have increased for information request or phishing scams , buying or selling scams and upfront payment scams,” said ABS director of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics Will Milne.

The percentage of Aussies who experienced an information request or phishing scam during 2020-21 more than doubled to 1 per cent.

Additionally, 0.8 per cent of people fell victim to a buying or selling scam, 0.4 per cent were hit by an upfront payment scam and another 0.4 per cent were duped by a financial advice scam.

The 45 to 54 age bracket had the highest rate of scam victimisation at 4.2 per cent, followed by the 65 and over age group (4.0 per cent) and those aged between 35 to 44 (3.9 per cent).

Unlike the high levels of reporting seen for card fraud, only half of those who had experienced a scam reported the most serious incident 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,” said Mr Milne.

The ABS found that an estimated 55 per cent of Aussies, or about 11.1 million people, had encountered a scam during the 2020-21 financial year, most commonly over the phone (38.3 per cent), via email (32.2 per cent), text message (23.4 per cent) or online (20.2 per cent).

Over 2m Aussies fall victim to scams and fraud
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