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Electronic Commerce: Fraud

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what estimate his Department has made of the amount of money lost to online identity theft and fraud in the UK in each year since 1997; (157061)

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the number of cases of online identity theft in the UK in each year since 1997.

[holding answer 11 October 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

The published estimates for the cost of identity theft to the UK economy do not include a specific breakdown of thefts committed online. In addition the Government do not have information on the number of cases on online identity theft recorded centrally.

To help people protect themselves from online fraud, the website was developed by the Government, police and industry. The website gives advice on how to stay safe online when shopping, banking or doing business over the internet, and how to protect computers and the personal information they contain.

On 9 October 2007 the Attorney General announced that funding had been approved for the proposals arising from the Government’s Fraud Review. This includes the development of a National Fraud Strategic Authority, together with a National Fraud Reporting Centre, the establishment of the City of London Police as the Lead Force on fraud, and proposals for measurement of fraud. These measures will help to tackle fraud and increase our understanding of the nature and extent of the problem.