Tuesday, May 15, 2007

U.K. Report on Financial Crimes in Virtual Worlds

A new report from a British group has concluded that there is a growing risk of financial crimes in virtual worlds, according to Reuters. The panel also recommends that governments treat transactions on MMO websites "as genuine financial instruments covered by existing laws and regulations." The report specifically discusses the potential problems with credit card fraud, database vulnerabilities, money laundering, tax evasion, and international currency transfers. The report comes from the Fraud Advisory Panel of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Unfortunately, the report does not appear online, but you can check out the press release.

For my own part, it should not surprise anyone that the threat of cybercrime is legitimate. Any time there is a new medium of economic exchange, it is unavoidable that cybercrime will surface. That fact, however, should not stop efforts to prevent such crimes from taking place.

Interestingly, the press release did not appear to call for any new laws or penalties, merely the application of existing ones to the virtual world space.