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Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce Agency Forum 2009

74 Leichhardt St, Griffith, Canberra ACT 2602
08 October 2009

The Australian Institute of Criminology hosted the Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce agency forum on consumer fraud research in Canberra on 8 October 2009.


Rapporteur: Dr Russell Smith, Principal Criminologist, Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)

Introduction and welcome

Dr Adam Tomison, Director, AIC

Coordinating consumer affairs statistical collections: the role of Auzshare

  • The nature of consumer affairs staticstical collections
  • Auzshare's history and role with the ACCC
  • Improving Auzshare and providingfeedback to agencies

Mr Peter Kell, Deputy Chair, ACCC

Comparing the 2008 & 2009 ACFT online survey results

  • The aims and role of the online survey
  • Limitations of, and improvements to, the online survey
  • What trends anre emerging fromt eh data
  • The Future of the online survey

Mr Jack Dearden, Research Assistant, Global, Economic & Electronic Crime Program, AIC

The ABS personal fraud data collections

  • The background to the Personal Fraud Survey 2008
  • Alternative data collection models and approaches
  • Future personal fraud data collection by the ABS

Ms Fiona Dowsley, Assistant Director, National Centre for Crime and justice Statistics, ABS

Protecting consumers from cyber fraud

  • The chaning nature os onlie consumer fraud risks
  • What industry can realistically hope to achieve
  • Risks and Responsibilites of consumers

Mr Alastair MacGibbon, Director, Internet Safety Institute

ACMAs Anti-spam inititiatives

  • ACMAs role in monitoring spam
  • What the data show
  • Future research into spam

Ms Julia Cornwell-Mckean, Manager, Anti-spam Team, ACMA

The challenges of researching advance fee fraud

  • The Victoria Police Advance Fee Fraud research project
  • Methodologuical and ethical impediments and solutions
  • Future research design and implementation

Dr Stuart Ross, Director, Melbourne Centre for Criminological Research, University of Melbourne

Consumer fraud 2009-10 - research and evaluation needs

  • Summary of reccommendations
  • Funding alternatives
  • Implementation

Dr Russell Smith, Principal Criminologist, AIC

Close and plans for the next Agency Forum

Mr Peter Kell, Deputy Chair, ACCC

Consumer fraud in Australia: costs, rates and awareness of the risks in 2008

This paper examines the current evidence of the cost, extent of and awareness of consumer fraud in Australia. In 2008, the ABS found that approximately five percent of the Australian population reported being victimised by consumer scams, with personal losses reaching almost $1b. This paper compares the findings of the ABS survey with those gathered by the AIC during the annual fraud awareness-raising activities conducted by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce. In 2008, a self-selected sample of 919 respondents to the AIC’s online survey reported being victimised by a wide variety of scams, including those relating to fictitious lotteries, phishing scams, financial advice and other attempts to elicit personal information from respondents. Individuals from all age groups were targeted in these scams, with older Australians being victimised to a similar extent to those in their middle years. Armed with an understanding of the nature and scope of the risks, consumer protection and other regulatory agencies can tailor their fraud prevention activities to maximise their impact—therefore reducing the extent to which consumers take up offers which are too good to be true.