Comparison website Finder reported that in a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, 12 percent admitted to stealing in the last 12 months due to financial stress.
That would mean 2.4 million people nationwide.
The study found that five per cent of Australians stole products from a supermarket self-checkout and four per cent lied about what they scanned, for example telling the computer it weighed an onion rather than an avocado.
According to Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, the average Australian spends $740 a month on groceries, which has increased by 7 per cent in the last 12 months.
Finder research found that last year, four per cent of Australians drove away from Bosser without paying for fuel, and two per cent left a cafe or restaurant without paying.
Generation Z (24%) was more likely than any other generation to obtain basic products such as food and fuel illegally.
The results showed that 12 percent of Gen Z respondents left the supermarket without paying for an item, compared to just three percent of Gen X respondents.
Finder’s head of consumer research Graham Cooke said many Australian households were struggling financially.
“Financial pressures are increasing as the number of households in survival mode increases,” he said.
“Both Woolies and Coles mentioned an increase in shoplifting during their recent earnings announcements.
“Australians clearly cannot afford basic necessities and some are turning to criminal behavior to survive.
“This, combined with the widespread use of self-checkout, has resulted in opportunistic customers leaving with more in their bags than they paid for.”
Cooke said the increase in illegal behavior has forced retailers to increase security.
Revealed: The 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in
“Retailers have had to tackle theft by installing cameras at self-checkout kiosks and hiring more staff to monitor checkouts.”
Cooke urged households to investigate where they could save money.
“Groceries, fuel, electricity, insurance, mortgages and rents have increased. But simple changes can save hundreds of dollars a year, he said.
Cooke encouraged Australians to use food banks such as OzHarvest and SecondBite if they were unable to afford food.
“As tempting as it may be, the basket discount is not worth the cost of a potential criminal record,” he said.
“Still, with FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) profits rising dramatically, it would be understandable that consumers would expect their retailers to do more to help them weather the cost of living crisis.”
#huge #increase #shoplifting #Australia #cost #living #crisis #drags
Image Source : www.9news.com.au