At its most general level, fraud is an act of deception intended for personal gain or to cause a loss to another person or organisation.
Fraud is often categorised by the industry in which the fraud has occurred (for example property fraud) but it can also be categorised by the type of fraud (for example credit card fraud).1
Categories of fraud include:
• insurance fraud
• superannuation fraud
• welfare fraud
• revenue and taxation fraud
• investment fraud
• card fraud (see separate fact sheet on card fraud)
• telecommunications fraud
• advance fee fraud
• health fraud
• securities fraud
• migration fraud
card not present fraud—such as purchasing services or products over the phone or online using another person’s card details.
Organised crime can be involved in all types of fraud.
In some cases, criminals use these frauds to provide an income stream or to establish a legitimate cover for other criminal activities such as drug importations, money laundering and firearms trafficking.
In Australia, card fraud and identity fraud— where criminals use someone’s personal information without permission to commit a crime—are among the major types of fraud.
The Australian Crime Commission conservatively estimates that serious organised crime costs Australia between $10–15 billion every year. This cost comprises loss of business and taxation revenues, expenditure on law enforcement and regulatory efforts, and social and community impacts of crime. Raising public awareness of crime issues is an important step in minimising the impact serious and organised crime can have on the community.