Internet: Fraud

Home Department written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Susan Kramer Susan Kramer Shadow Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, Trade & Industry, Shadow Secretary of State, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) how many complaints of fraud in relation to online retail websites were made in each year since 1997;

(2) what steps the Serious and Organised Crime Agency is taking to deal with reports of fraud in relation to online retailing;

(3) how many reported instances of fraud involving online retailing have been referred to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency; and what the status is of investigations in each case in which no legal proceedings are active.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Information on the number of complaints of fraud in relation to online retail websites is not held centrally.

Along with Class A drugs and organised immigration crime, fraud against individuals and the private sector is one of SOCA's priorities. SOCA is working collaboratively with partners to build knowledge and understanding of fraud and to align operational activity to those frauds and individuals causing the most harm to the UK.

SOCA does not operate a formal referral process in respect of frauds SOCA works collaboratively with partners to identify and protect against those frauds and individuals causing the most harm to the UK and aligns operational activity accordingly. SOCA is unable to comment on ongoing operational activity. As required by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, SOCA will issue an annual report as soon as possible after the end of financial year 2006-07. This report will cover all SOCA's functions.

The Home Office is represented on an industry-led steering group which aims to tackle 'Card Not Present' (CNP) fraud (which includes fraud over the internet). We support practical measures being introduced by the industry to increase levels of security for internet transactions. These include address verification services (AVS) and card security code (CSC), along with Mastercard secure code and Verified by Visa which require password verification for internet transactions.

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