OECD turns attention to online fraud

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued a report which, it hopes, will help governments...

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued a report which, it hopes, will help governments address cross-border fraud, particularly fraud carried out over the internet and telecommunications channels.

In the 33-page report, the OECD noted that existing laws and enforcement systems are not up to the task of combatting cross-border fraud.

"The development of the Internet and improvements in telecommunications technologies have brought significant benefits to consumers in terms of price and choice and facilitated the globalisation of markets through cross-border transactions," the report said. 

"They have also provided unprecedented opportunities for businesses and individuals engaged in fraudulent and deceptive commercial practices to harm consumers from different jurisdictions and to evade enforcement authorities."

As well as urging for international co-operation to beat online and other cross-border fraud, the OECD said that many countries might need to change domestic legislation to overcome barriers to effective co-operation with other countries. This would help lead to quicker identification of fraudsters and their locations.

Countries would also need to develop online tools to enable faster sharing of information on cross-border frauds among law enforcement and consumer protection agencies. The differing legal systems and mechanisms in various countries pose a problem which has not yet been addressed by international judicial mechanisms and law enforcement co-operation, the OECD said.

According to the US Federal Trade Commission, the most common cross-border frauds involve bogus prize promotions, foreign lottery schemes, advance-fee loan scams, fraudulent travel offers, and unnecessary credit card loss protection offers.

The FTC website is at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud.

David Legard writes for IDG News Service

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