Pro­tect­ing Euro­pean cit­i­zens from credit card fraud

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

Year af­ter year, non-cash pay­ments across the Euro­pean Union are in­creas­ing. In 2016 alone, the to­tal num­ber of non-cash pay­ments in the EU in­creased by 8.5% to €122 bil­lion, with card pay­ments ac­count­ing for half of all trans­ac­tions.

Such a phe­nom­e­non calls for a leg­isla­tive re­ac­tion from pol­icy-mak­ers, and that is why the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s Com­mit­tee for Jus­tice and Home Af­fairs voted on new rules to com­bat fraud from credit cards and other non-cash pay­ments such as through debit cards, cheques and on­line trans­fers.

Nuno Melo MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on the dossier, said: “Tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments brought their own com­modi­ties, in­clud­ing eas­ier means of pay­ment. How­ever, such de­vel­op­ments should be ac­com­pa­nied by up­dated leg­is­la­tion that pre­vents crim­i­nals from tak­ing ad­van­tage of any loop­holes. To­day’s vote is a step in this di­rec­tion: to en­sure that Mem­ber States have the nec­es­sary tools and reg­u­la­tions to com­bat fraud in the use of non-cash pay­ments.”

This is par­tic­u­larly nec­es­sary as, for the ma­jor­ity of cases, the per­pe­tra­tor and the vic­tim are not based in the same coun­try, and there­fore, law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties need to ex­change in­for­ma­tion in a short time frame.

Melo also re­ferred to the fact that the MEPs voted to in­crease the pro­tec­tion and rights of vic­tims of cy­ber­crime, in­clud­ing fraud of non-cash pay­ments. “This kind of fraud can in­volve large sums of money, leav­ing vic­tims empty handed. The Re­port ap­proved to­day in­cludes spe­cific pro­vi­sions in en­sur­ing that vic­tims of cy­ber­crime are pro­tected and that their rights are safe­guarded.”

Such pro­vi­sions in­clude fa­cil­i­tat­ing the re­port­ing of the crime, in­clud­ing the set­ting-up of na­tional se­cure on­line fraud re­port­ing sys­tems, whilst also en­sur­ing that con­sumers are pro­vided with ad­vice on how to pro­tect them­selves against the neg­a­tive con­se­quences of fraud and against rep­u­ta­tional dam­age aris­ing from it.

This new pro­posal doesn't only crim­i­nalise the use of stolen or coun­ter­feited pay­ment in­stru­ments; it also crim­i­nalises the pos­ses­sion, sale, pro­cure­ment for use, im­port or dis­tri­bu­tion, of such in­stru­ments. “We can­not take such things lightly. Crim­i­nal ac­tion should be taken not only against users of stolen pay­ment in­stru­ments to be used in a fraud­u­lent man­ner, but also against those who are in pos­ses­sion of such in­stru­ments”, Melo con­cluded.

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment will now en­ter into ne­go­ti­a­tions with the other In­sti­tu­tions.

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