One in six Australians the victim of government statistics

According to the Australian government,

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today released new research which shows nearly one in six Australians have been a victim or known somebody who has been a victim of identity theft or misuse in the past six months.

That's a puzzling statistic.

From what I've read about research into social networks, a typical person knows about 150 people. If only one in six people have someone in their network of 150 friends that has recently been a victim of identity theft, that means that there's probably only about a 0.1 percent chance of any one of them being a victim of identity theft in a six-month period. That's about a 0.2 percent chance per year, or only 1 in 500 people per year on average.

From what I've read from other sources, the actual chance of some soft of identity theft is actually much greater – almost a factor of 100 greater.

But because the Australian government seems concerned about the problem of identity theft, I'd guess that it's not the case that the chances of identity theft are 100 times lower for Australians than they are for others, so I'm left wondering exactly what the recent Australian research really showed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *