Fraud: Internet

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Ian Gibson Ian Gibson Labour, Norwich North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department has responsibility for tackling the use of the internet to conduct fraud; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

My Department does not have direct responsibility for law enforcement nor does it regulate the services provided by the hundreds of UK internet service providers. The general law on fraud applies by whatever means it is conducted, including over the internet.

We are working closely with internet service providers to continue to develop practical measures to reduce the impact of harmful content, including the work they are doing to prevent fraud committed using the internet. The Office of Fair Trading, among others, provides advice to consumers on how better to protect themselves from such fraud.

Last year, the Government pledged to provide over £28 million to fight fraud.

The money will fund:

A new National Fraud Strategic Authority.

A Lead Force, centred on the City of London Police, as a centre of excellence to increase the UK's capability to investigate fraud and bring fraudsters to justice.

A National Fraud Reporting Centre, hosted by the Lead Force, to streamline the way that fraud is reported and to make the best use of the intelligence gathered.

Pilot projects to measure the impact and cost of fraud.

Reforms to the criminal justice system to make sure that fraudsters are brought to justice and that victims are better able to get redress.

The new powers enshrined in Part 3 of the Serious Crime Act will also will help provide the means to make the UK the most hostile environment for fraudsters.

The UK's law enforcement authorities are also collaborating with police forces abroad to reduce the incidence of internet fraud being perpetrated in the UK from overseas.

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