New EU rules to stamp email scams

Minister announces new rules to protect businesses and consumers from phishing and 411 scam emails.

The European Union is to bring in new measures to combat email scams.

The Consumer Protection Co-operation (CPC) regulations were announced by Consumer Minister Ian McCartney who said the new rules will "help tackle rogue traders who prey on consumers across European borders."

The new regulations, which come into force this month, will see a new network of national enforcement bodies with powers to work together across the EU. The UK's co-ordinating enforcement body will be the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The new measures will help in combating email scams and illegal prize draws; misleading advertising and pressure selling; phone scams based in other EU countries as well as timeshare and holiday club rogue traders.

"Crooks and fraudsters who prey on unsuspecting consumers are the lowest of the low. No longer will they be able to rip off large numbers of people and then hide behind borders, beyond the reach of the enforcers," said McCartney.

"Joined up enforcement across the EU will help to stamp out scams and leave the sharks with nowhere to hide. Consumers can then have greater confidence, while legitimate businesses are protected from rogues in the marketplace," he added.

The CPC regulations are designed to eliminate barriers and gaps in cross-border enforcement. National enforcement bodies will be required to help each other by exchanging information and co-operating on cross-border cases. Wide differences in the structures and methods of enforcement authorities have hampered prosecutions in the past.

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