This report presents findings of the latest survey of identity crime and misuse undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology as part of the Australian Government’s National Identity Security Strategy. Identity crime is one of the most prevalent forms of criminal activity in Australia and remains a persistent concern for many Australians.
In 2017, a survey was conducted of 9,947 members of a national research panel concerning their experiences of victimisation—over their lifetime and during the preceding 12 months—and their perceptions of the risk of identity crime in the ensuing 12 months. The data for 2017 were compared with those of the similar survey conducted in 2016. The survey found that 25 percent of respondents experienced misuse of their personal information at some time during their life, with 13 percent experiencing misuse of their personal information in the previous 12 months (both statistically significant increases on the findings for 2016). Almost twice as many respondents reported suffering out-of-pocket losses in 2017 as in 2016, with total out-of-pocket losses amounting to $2.9m in 2017 ($1.1m more than in 2016). The results from the 2017 survey should assist those designing awareness programs and prevention initiatives by indicating who may be most at risk of identity crime.