European Parliament Adopts New Directive to Fight Non Cash Payment Fraud

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Friday, March 22, 2019
Michael Plachta

On March 13, 2019, the European Parliament adopted a legislative resolution by which it adopted the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment. The Directive updates the existing rules to ensure that a clear, robust, and technology-neutral legal framework is in place. It also gets ride of operational obstacles that hamper investigation and prosecution, and foresees actions to enhance public awareness of fraudulent techniques such as phishing or skimming. The Directive includes provisions on: (i) expanding the scope of the offences to include, for example, transactions through virtual currencies; (ii) harmonizing the definitions of some online crime offences, such as hacking a victim's computer or phishing; (iii) harmonized rules on penalties for natural persons: Council and Parliament agreed minimum penalties ranging from 1 to 5 years depending of the type of offense; (iv) assistance and support to ensure victims are sufficiently informed of their rights and citizens are advised on how to protect themselves from such frauds; (v) clarification of the scope of jurisdiction to ensure cross border fraud is tackled more effectively; (vi) collection of statistics on, as a minimum, the number of offenses and the number of persons prosecuted and convicted.