13.2 million Australians exposed to scams

Two thirds of Australians aged 15 years and over were exposed to a scam in 2021-22.

William Milne, ABS head of crime and justice statistics, said: “The results of The Personal Fraud Survey showed that 65 per cent of people received a scam offer or request in 2021-22, up from 55 per cent in the previous year.”

People were most commonly exposed to a scam over the phone (48 per cent) or by text message (47 per cent), with exposure via text message doubling from 23 per cent in 2020-21 to 47 per cent in 2021-22.

“While more people were exposed to scams this year, we found that the number responding to scams has actually decreased to 552,000. The survey shows that 2.7 per cent of Australians responded to a scam in 2021-22 down from 3.6 per cent in 2020-21,” Mr Milne said.

The results also showed that more people are reporting their experiences to authorities. Of those who responded to a scam, 57 per cent reported their most serious incident, up from 50 per cent in 2020-21.

“About one third reported to a bank or financial institution, which remains the most common authority scams are 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.