Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.4 The Fraud Act 2006

The Fraud Act 2006 was introduced to simplify a notoriously complex Act of Parliament called the Theft Act.

The previous law defined a large number of types of fraud, often tied to specific circumstances, that made for complex cases that were difficult to prosecute and for juries to understand. In fact, it wasn’t until 1996 that obtaining money from a fraudulent bank transfer was specifically illegal in the UK!

The Fraud Act defines fraud in three ways:

  • false representation
  • failing to disclose information
  • abusing power.

In each case, the defendant’s conduct must be dishonest with the intention of making a gain, or must cause a loss (or the risk of a loss) to another person or individual. Crucially, no actual gain or loss needs to be proved – the fraud might have been unsuccessful or it was stopped before it could take place.

The Fraud Act can be used against anyone attempting to perform fraud whether or not it takes place over the internet. However, Section 11 of the Act makes specific reference to electronic fraud and can be used to prosecute in response to:

  • dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services such as a telephone, ISP or satellite television subscription
  • cloning mobile phones so that calls made on one handset are billed to another
  • reprogramming mobile phones to interfere with their operation or change their unique identifier information
  • breaking encryption on encrypted communications services such as subscription television services or telephone conversations.

In the next section you’ll learn about Lawful Business Practice Regulations.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371