HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 cc1278-9W
Mr. Stephen O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to address the concerns of on-line consumers about credit card fraud. [157273]

Mr. Sutcliffe

The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 protect consumers against payment card fraud including credit cards. The Regulations apply to contracts made at a distance including on-line ones. The Card issuer is required to reimburse consumers the full amount in the event of fraudulent use of the consumer's card.

In addition, the Consumer Credit Act 1974 allows consumers to recover the cost of a purchase made by credit card from either the supplier or the credit card provider in the event of a breach of contract or misrepresentation. This provides additional protection should a consumer be unable to trace the supplier. The Banking Code says that the consumer's liability for misuse of a card will be limited unless there is evidence that the consumer has acted fraudulently or without reasonable care.

The Home Office has recently launched a website to combat fraud over the internet. The 'e-tailing mini site' forms part of the Crime Reduction Website and includes information to help on-line consumers protect themselves from fraud. The website address is http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/etailing.