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UK Phishing Laws Toughened Up

UK Phishing Laws Toughened Up


New UK phishing laws will allow prison sentences of up to 10 years for phishers.


The UK government has announced that its new Fraud Bill will target phishing criminals and allow judges to sentence those found guilty of the crime with prison sentences of up to 10 years.

The new bill, if passed in the UK parliament, will create a number of new offences which will consolidate existing complex UK laws on fraud. Among these new crimes will be the offences of "participating in fraudulent activity" and "false representation," both of which can be applied to phishing related activity.

UK legislators have also included a clause in the proposed bill which will allow for extradition in such cases, a clause which will be useful in prosecuting offenders who operate overseas and whose crimes are not hindered by geographical borders.

The new bill responds to a Law Commission report of 2002 which concluded that the UK prosecution service found it difficult to apply existing legislation to increasingly hi-tech criminal acts.

Lord Goldsmith, the UK attorney-general commented on the new bill:

"This reform is needed to enable prosecutors to get to grips with the increasing abuse of technology, particularly in relation to fake credit card scams and personal identity theft, which costs millions of pounds every year."

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