Posted on: 13th, July 2012
One in five Australians have had their identities stolen or had their personal or financial data illegally accessed, with credit card crime such as skimming one of the major problems plaguing consumers, a new study suggests.
The Australian Debt Study, released today, shows that Australians aged 35-49 are the most likely group to fall victim to identity fraud while 18-24 year olds are the least likely to report illegal access to their personal or financial data.
The data intelligence group Veda, which surveyed more than 1000 Australian adults, also found that people earning more than $70,000 are much more likely to be targeted for bank account and credit card crime than those earning $40,000 a year or less and cases of identity theft and financial fraud are highest in Western Australia and NSW.
Findings also show that almost one in three Australians suffered some form of credit crime and lost their wallet containing credit cards and identification.
Matthew Strassberg, a Veda senior advisor said: “Identity crime is a thriving industry in Australia, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating the cost of personal fraud to consumers at $1.4 billion dollars a year.
“Whilst credit card fraud is a common form of identity crime, many people do not realise that with only a small amount of personal data, an identify thief could take out a second mortgage on a house, or open up a new line of personal credit and purchase items in their name or under a false identity.”
The results of the study come as a 29-year-old Mascot man was yesterday charged with the alleged possession of ATM skimming devices , hundreds of bank cards and seven duplicating machines.
Police spoke to the man and searched his van after he had allegedly parked illegally on Darling Point Road, Darling Point at 12:30pm on Wednesday. He will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on July 25.