Higher sentences for fraud involving new payment methods

Fraud involving new payment methods, such as applications that allow you to transfer money with your mobile phone or Internet sites that enable payment, will be made punishable as a separate crime. Such fraud will also be subject to higher sentences. These key features are included in a legislative proposal by Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus, which was submitted for consultation today and which implements a European directive in Dutch law.

That directive replaces a framework decision which has become outdated as a result of technological and social developments. The Netherlands already complies with the obligations under this directive to a large extent. While the modern payment methods that have arisen in recent years are useful for consumers and enterprises, they are also vulnerable to fraud. As such fraud often crosses borders to affect residents of several countries, a firm approach to these crimes is vital. For this purpose, the directive provides improved measures and establishes identical rules throughout the European Union. The directive covers not only electronic money but also virtual currencies, including bitcoins.

Under the legislative proposal, new payment methods will be protected by criminal law just as well as ‘old’ ones such as debit cards. Fraud involving bank cards is already punishable as a separate crime at the moment. It is desirable for an effective approach also to make fraud involving new payment methods punishable as a separate crime due to the continuous emergence of new payment methods that do away with debit cards.

This reason is why there will be higher maximum prison sentences for payment fraud. The maximum sentence for computer crime involving the acquisition of payment details will increase from two to three years. A maximum prison sentence of six years will apply to forgery of payment details or payment applications, as well as to selling or possessing stolen payment details. One example is the trade on forums dedicated to this type of crime called carding. Currently, the maximum sentence for this crime is one year.