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1.6 Million Australians Have Experienced Personal Fraud

IMG_0988The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2014-15, an estimated 1.6 million Australians experienced personal fraud or 8.5% of the population aged 15 and over. This is an increase from the proportion of persons who experienced personal fraud in 2010-11 (6.7%).

The majority of persons who experienced personal fraud experienced a single incident (71% or 1.1 million).

The most common fraud type was card fraud with 1.1 million persons (or 5.9% of the population aged 15 and over) experiencing card fraud, an increase from 2010-11 when the rate was 3.7%.

Just under a third (31%) of persons experiencing card fraud reported experiencing two or more incidents.

An estimated 126,300 persons in Australia were victims of identity theft (or 0.7% of the population aged 15 and over). However, the majority of persons who experienced identity theft experienced a single incident (103,400 or 82%).

Just under one in four persons who experienced identity theft in the five years prior to the ABS survey on fraud (23% or 77,600) became aware that their personal details had been stolen after receiving a notification or query from a government agency or authority, whilst a further 12% (38,700) became aware after receiving a bill from a business or company.IMG_0989

Just over half of the Australian population aged 15 and over were exposed to at least one scam (56% or 10.4 million persons). This was an increase from 2010-11, when the proportion of persons exposed to at least one scam was 36% (6.4 million).

Nationally, 4% (449,100) of persons exposed to a scam also responded to at least one scam, either by supplying personal information, money or both, or by seeking more information in relation to the request. This represented 2.4% of the population aged 15 and over, which was a decrease from 2010-11, where 2.9% of the population (514,500) responded to at least one scam.

Three-quarters (1.2 million or 75%) of persons who experienced personal fraud incurred a financial loss. The total estimated financial loss as a result of all personal fraud incidents was $3 billion dollars.

The total estimated financial loss to card fraud in 2014-15 was $2.1 billion, which was double the total amount lost to card fraud in 2010-11 ($1.0 billion). However, the financial loss after reimbursement (out of pocket loss) decreased between 2010-11 and 2014-15, from $208.9 million to $84.8 million.

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