New e-crime centre in fight against growing internet scams

A national e-crime evidence centre hosted by North Yorkshire County Council, which has been set up and expanded to tackle the growing threat of internet scams, is to be formally opened next week by peer Lord Toby Harris.

The National Trading Standards E-crime Centre’s digital evidence unit (DEU) has recently doubled in size to increase consumer protection against internet scams and online fraud.

The lab has been extended to accommodate 4 more forensic analysts and a forensic technician, bringing the new e-crime unit’s strength up from 5 to 9 forensic staff.

Lord Toby Harris, chairman of the National Trading Standards Board, and member of both the House of Lords Select Committee on “Personal Internet Security”, and the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, will formerly open the unit on Monday 7th October 2013

The new staff based in the county council DEU will work closely with the e-crime enforcement officers in York, hosted by the City of York Council. Together they constitute the National Trading Standards eCrime Centre’s e-crime unit. The new staff will help reduce turnaround times and enhance the support given to local trading standards officers and regional scambuster teams.

The expansion of the DEU forms part of the National Trading Standard Board’s overall investment in consumer protection. It represents a longer term commitment to improve trading standards’ capacity nationally to tackle internet scams and rip-offs targeted at both consumers and businesses.

The National Trading Standards Board brings together trading standards experts from services across England and Wales to prioritise, fund and coordinate national and regional enforcement cases.

It is responsible for gathering intelligence from around the country to combat rogue traders and tackle priorities such as internet scams, illegal money lending and other issues that go beyond local authority boundaries.

What is the National Trading Standards eCrime Centre?

Despite the tough economic climate, consumer spending online is up year on year and

sales via tablets and smart phones are booming. But just as legitimate businesses have moved online to profit from increased consumer spending — criminals have also moved online to exploit them. More than ever rogue traders and Internet fraudsters are aggressively exploiting the convenience and deregulated nature of the internet. They are hiding behind its anonymity and taking advantage of its economies of scale to scam and rip-off consumers through fraud and misrepresentation; e-crimes of this kind have reached epidemic proportions.

So as part of a wider strategy to protect consumers and tackle rising e-crime, the Government has set up the National Trading Standards eCrime Centre (NTSeCC). The NTSeCC is funded by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB).

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