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Assessing the Quality of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS)

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2023
95 pages

This report is divided into three main sections: introducing fraud, its definition, and alignments with the FFRC/FINRA Foundation fraud taxonomy and criminal statutes, estimates of fraud, and cognitive testing; a comparison of Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS) estimates to other data sources on the prevalence of fraud, the impact of differences in how fraud types are defined, reporting behaviors, financial losses, and characteristics of fraud victims; and recommendations for policy and practice.


This report describes efforts to compare estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS) to estimates and victimization patterns from other available sources of fraud data. There are numerous sources of data on the prevalence and nature of personal financial fraud. Each source uses different definitions of fraud, employs different methodologies, and suffers from a variety of limitations. BJS developed the SFS to address the major limitations and shortcomings of other existing fraud data collections. It was the first effort by BJS to estimate the prevalence and characteristics of fraud in the United States. The survey was administered to all NCVS respondents age 18 or older from October to December 2017. This paper examines initial SFS estimates of the prevalence and nature of personal financial fraud and explores the similarities and differences between the SFS and other sources of fraud data as one component of an effort to validate the SFS estimates.

Date Published: August 1, 2023