Digital fraud and e-mail scams expand

A recent parliamentary report has said that consumers are facing a greater risk from digital fraud and e-mail scams because protection laws are out of date. The report estimated that nearly £7 billion per year is being taken from consumers by fraudsters who are committing crimes in areas where the law is less stringent.

A different report has said that the number of attacks occurring on smart phones is on the increase and in the last four months the amount of attacks being conducted on the phones has increased by 800%. The scams are mostly being operated by people being tricked into downloading applications which then tells the phone to dial a premium rate number.

The parliamentary report has said that there are too many scams on the market and laws need to be tighter around them. They highlighted the problem of false lotteries as well as phishing e-mails which encourage people to enter their financial data into an insecure interface.

Some rogue traders are taking advantage of understaffed trading departments around the country. It is known that some fraudsters are establishing businesses in areas where they are less able to track them down, from this location they can still conduct their scams on a national basis however.

The report stated, “The current enforcement system is set to deal with fraudulent activity on a local basis and generally when it was a one-time offence. Now, there are companies operating scams nationally and the way that enforcement is done needs to change.”

Margaret Hodge was the chair of the committee and she stated, “New laws must be introduced to make sure that scams that are setup are not allowed to continue and the people behind them should not be allowed to escape without charge.” Unfortunately, financial limitations can mean this is not always possible.