Small business SCAMS: national survey 2012/13

Business Crime Scams Australia

This research found that one in eight businesses surveyed losing between $100 and $10,000 because of scams.

Executive summary

This survey is the first national attempt at specifying the small business scam as a distinct category of scam worthy of focussed research endeavour. It is the first phase of a longer term proposal to understand how small business owners behave when scam risks are presented to them; it also attempts to identify which types of scams represent the most common and most serious risks of loss. The assumption implicit in this study is that there are differences in the type of scam that small businesses are exposed to and in their various responses to scam attempts, when compared to consumers. The study enlisted the assistance of many small business associations, and was conducted Australia-wide over the period May-December 2012.

A total of 291 businesses responded to the survey, and the sample of small businesses surveyed represented every ANZSIC class of business. It encompassed businesses with annual turnovers that ranged from $10,000 to $20,000,000 per annum. Approximately 2/3 of respondents were male and 1/3 female, which is broadly representative of the small business population in Australia.

192 respondents provided sufficient detail for the purpose of the full analysis intended. Several predictors of scam propensity were included in the study. These potential risk factors included turnover, experience of prior loss, routine activity theory, industry type, self control, select personality traits, generalised business risk and some demographic markers

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