Identity crime and misuse in Australia: Results of the 2016 online survey


Identity crime involving the misuse of personal information affects hundreds of thousands of Australians each year—individuals, businesses and governments alike. Through large-scale annual surveys, the Australian Institute of Criminology has examined respondents’ experiences of victimisation over their lifetime and during the preceding 12 months, as well as their perceptions of the risk of identity crime in the ensuing 12 months. The latest survey, undertaken in May 2016, covered just under 10,000 respondents. Findings from the survey confirm that criminal misuse of personal information continues to occur in Australia. Around 20 percent of respondents have had their personal information misused over their lifetime, with between eight and nine percent experiencing misuse in the 12 months prior to completing the survey. Identity crime is one of the most prevalent forms of criminal activity in Australia and remains a persistent concern for many Australians. Survey results should assist those designing awareness programs and prevention initiatives by: indicating those who are more likely to be victims of identity crime; and providing advice on how to seek help and report misuse of personal information.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Findings: Characteristics of the sample
  • Perceptions of misuse of personal information
  • Victimisation rates
  • The most serious occasion of misuse of personal information in the previous 12 months
  • Financial and other impacts
  • Dealing with victimisation
  • Behavioural changes arising from misuse of personal information
  • Victim certificates
  • Willingness to use biometric security measures to protect personal information
  • Statistical significance of relationships between variables
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendix 1: Identity Crime and Misuse Survey 2016
  • Appendix 2: Note on weighting of the data
  • Authors