One born every minute

The ABS has a new survey out today on personal fraud (HT: Dan Andrews). The headline in tomorrow’s reporting will doubtless be the finding that 453,100 Australians lost on average $2,160 as a result of personal fraud. But what surprised me in skimming it was how equally distributed the losses were across society. I had assumed that scams would be like a regressive tax, hitting the poor more than the rich. But it seems that falling victim to a scam is about as common for the young and old, men and women, more and less educated, and rich and poor. Even the infamous “I have come into a large fortune” scammers (aka “advance fee fraud”) seem to be about as successful across all demographics.

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2 Responses to One born every minute

  1. I have some problem getting my experience to jibe with that survey. I cannot think of anyone I know having been a “victim” of fraud in the last few years. For that matter as far as I recall I haven’t been a victim of fraud ever.

    I’m not inclined to believe the figures. Maybe I just don’t realise how many suckers there are out there. I do find it hard to feel any sympathy for victims of scams like pyramid or Ponzi schemes as it seems to me this is an eyes wide open risk – if you can get in and get out early you are a fellow scamster or canny high risk investor – if you leave it a bit late you are a “victim”. Each victim was willing to be a scamster but cried foul when caught.

    I’d charge “victims” with conspiracy to defraud – then you’d stop these schemes.

  2. rogue says:

    There’s always a tagline that will prove tempting to someone somewhere. If scammers know what their potential victims want to hear, they will find willing victims. On a macro scale, just look at the sub-prime debt fraud that “victimized” the world’s most presitigious financial insitutions

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