1.6 million Australians were victims of personal fraud last year

Photo by Patrick Lux/Getty Images

Personal fraud in Australia is on the rise according to latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In the 2014/15 financial year, 1.6 million Australians, or around 8.5% of the entire population, was a victim of personal fraud such as card fraud, identity theft or other scams, the highest number since the ABS survey first began in 2007.

It was also up 6.7% from the last survey conducted in 2010/11.

Card fraud, in particular, grew rapidly, rising to $2.1 billion in 2014-15, more than double the $1 billion level seen in 2010-11.

In 2014-15, just over one million people experienced card fraud, compared with 662,300 in 2010-11, said the ABS.

Even with reimbursements from financial institutions, the ABS said total out of pocket losses at the time of the survey added up to $84.8 million.

Outside of card fraud, the ABS estimates 126,300 people were the victims of identity theft in 2014/15, or 0.7% of the population aged 15 years and over.

In terms of scams, just over half of the population aged 15 and over, or 10.4 million, were exposed to at least one scam during the year, an increase from 36% from the 2010-11 financial year.

Of those exposed to a scam, nearly 450,00, or 4%, of persons supplied personal information, money or both, said the ABS. This represents 2.4% of Australia’s population aged 15 years and over, down from 2.9% in 2010/11.

The chart below, supplied by the ABS, reveals the recent trend in card fraud, identity theft and scams.