Australians committing billions in fraud

Millions of Aussies are being untruthful to save a buck.

A large number of Australians are committing billions of dollars’ worth of financial fraud and most culprits may not realise they’re committing a crime.

A study by consumer comparison website finder.com.au found an estimated 1.3 million people had omitted or embellished details when applying for credit or loans.

This equates to more than $220 billion worth of finance, including around 600,000 credit cards, obtained under false pretences.

Finder Money Expert Bessie Hassan said honesty was always the best policy when it comes to credit applications.

“If the false information results in you gaining access to credit you would not otherwise be able to obtain then there could be serious consequences,” she said.

“It might mean you are more likely to default and depending on the fine print you could even face prosecution.

“Giving false information whether that’s exaggerating the value of your assets or employment status to underestimating expenses – is fraud.”

The research also revealed that 1.3 million Australian have committed fraud on insurance applications or claims.

Australians were most likely to lie on car insurance, with more than 561,000 lying on applications, followed by health insurance and life insurance.

Hassan said honesty is the best policy when it comes to insurance as well.

“Even if telling the truth could increase premiums, it’s worth being upfront as the alternative could have serious consequences,” she said.

“Insurance fraud is illegal, so it goes without saying that dishonest claims will be denied.

“Insurance brands have claims investigators so it’s likely they’ll find out if you’ve lied.”