PracticeConsultingFraud office calls for web law reform

Fraud office calls for web law reform

If you are going to be a victim of internet fraud, it is better to be one in Scotland, according to Stephen Low, assistant director of the Serious Fraud Office.

Low issued his warning this week at an ICAS fraud conference in Edinburgh, and said his point would become increasingly significant as new technology brought new opportunities for fraudsters.

His warning was based on the differences between Scottish and English law.

Scottish law contains the offence of ‘bringing about a definite practical result by means of a false pretence’ but in England and Wales prosecutors are forced to sit suspected crime against existing statutes, all written before the new economy existed.

Low told AccountancyAge.com: ‘The SFO is arguing strenuously for a review of English law.

A generalised offence of fraud based on deception would, clearly, cover activity in the new economy, even if that particular activity could not yet be predicted.’

Low also warned of the dangers of digital signatures, which became legal last year. ‘It will not be long before a digital signature is misused,’ he said.

Links

SFO calls for English fraud review

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