British banks are letting cyber-crooks carry out crime in a 'black hole' of impunity by failing to report or investigate fraud, says a group of MPs.
The Home Affairs Committee report on e-crime warns that Britain is losing the war against online fraud and calls on government, industry and citizens to do more to tackle it.
The MPs say that there is a 'black hole' where low-level e-crime is committed with impunity because when victims are defrauded of a small amount of money the crimes are often not reported to or investigated by law enforcement and banks simply reimburse customers.
Giving evidence for the report, the Foundation for Internet Policy Research said that a decision by the previous government to have victims report crime to their banks in the first place rather than to the police means that the rate of recorded instances of fraud understates the reality.
Banks must now be required to report all e-crime fraud to law enforcement and log details of where attacks come from, the MPs conclude.
The report also calls for a dedicated espionage response team that companies, media, and institutions can immediately contact to report an attack.
Keith Vaz, committee chair, says: "You can steal more on the Internet than you can by robbing a bank and online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the UK as their number one target. Astonishingly, some are operating from EU countries. If we don't have a 21st century response to this 21st century crime, we will be letting those involved in these gangs off the hook."