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AIC’s 2013 scam survey live

Media release

09 January 2013

Are you the victim of a scam or have you received scam invitations? Do you want to help with research into scams and criminal scammers?

The confidential 2013 scam survey is now online, and the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is seeking your help.

To understand trends and impacts of criminal consumer scams, the AIC undertakes this survey each year with its partner the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT).

Just five to 10 minutes of your time will help increase this understanding which in turn helps authorities combat these types of crime.

Recent surveys have been showing:

  • a steep increase in the incidence of phone scams, both via landline and mobile, since the introduction of VOIP international calling last decade,
  • more sophisticated scams using fake websites to lure older investors to part with their money, and
  • dating scams, while the least likely scam invitation to be received, were the single scam most likely to result in a financial loss or the disclosure of personal details, as reported by respondents in the 2010 and 2011 AIC-ACFT surveys.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, another ACFT partner, also reports that in 2011 losses arising from scam activity totalled almost $85.7 million, a 35 per cent increase on the amount reported in 2010 ($63.5m) – and this is only reported losses. The total could be much higher.

AIC Principal Criminologist, Dr Russell Smith said: “The AIC is continuing to track and analyse the patterns of types of scam invitations people received, whether people responded to the invitations, if they sent money or gave personal details, how people view scam invitations and whether people report scams and who they report them to.”

“It is worth emphasising that participation is confidential and voluntary, and you only need to complete the survey once. All responses are treated in complete confidence,” Dr Smith said.

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) gathers information on scams to help improve the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of scam offenders.

The survey can be accessed at the AIC website: www.aic.gov.au

FOR COMMENT Colin Campbell 0418 159 525