Friday, July 26, 2024

Aussies confess to food and fuel theft

Thievery of everyday items is on the rise as the cost of living crisis deepens, according to new research from comparison site Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1010 respondents revealed almost 1 in 5 (19%) Australians – equivalent to 3.8 million people – admitted to stealing staples in the past 12 months.

The research shows:
• 9% of Aussies have stolen items from the supermarket at the self-checkout
• 10% have cheated at the self-serve check-outs by deliberately lying about what they have scanned
• 2% have left a cafe/restaurant without paying
• 6% have driven away without paying for petrol.

Richard Whitten, money expert at Finder, says some Australians are struggling to afford basic necessities.

“A lot of people are doing it tough as the cost of essentials like petrol, rent and energy have risen sharply,” he says.

“The result is a growing subset of Australians who are stealing consumables to survive.”

“Of course, most self-checkout machines can’t tell brown onions from portobello mushrooms, and I suspect a lot of Australians don’t regard scanning items incorrectly on purpose to be the same level of theft as running out of a shop with a loaf of bread,” says Mr Whitten.

With Australians being advised to brace for further price increases, Whitten says there are safer ways to cut back on costs. He advises shopping around for the best deal on all your expenses, using apps to track expenses, and contacting bill providers to ask about their hardship policies or payment plans.

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