Identity theft hits 200,000 as digital crime escalates

Women talking on phone holding credit card. | Newsreel
More than 200,000 Australians were victims of identity theft in 2022-23. | iStock

Almost 200,000 Australians experienced identity theft last financial year as the digital evolution continued to open new crime frontiers.

This was coupled with more than one in every 10 Australians aged between 35 and 65 reporting card fraud and 2.5 percent of the adult population being scammed in other ways.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for 2022-23 show that just over 14 percent of identity thefts were used to open accounts or seek credit.

“Of those who experienced identity theft, one in three (33 percent or 65,600) said the stolen personal information was used to obtain money from a bank account, superannuation, or investments/shares,” the ABS said.

Overall, 8.7 percent of the population over 15 had their card funds fraudulently used or withdrawn (up from 6.9 percent in 2020-21).

The card fraud victimisation rate varied by age, ranging from 3.9 percent for persons aged 15 to 24 years, to 12 percent for persons aged 45 to 54 years.

One in three people (34 percent) had less than $100 withdrawn or used in the most recent incident of card fraud, while one in six (18 percent) had more than $1000 withdrawn or used.

More details can be found on the ABS website