In the V Directorate - at the Financial crime prevention - the Central Office for Means of Payment Fraud (UCAMP) is responsible for Euro counterfeiting and preventing fraud committed through the use of payment means other than cash.
Within the Community system set up to protect the Euro from being counterfeited, introduced by Regulation 1338/2001, UCAMP serves as the Italian central Office for the collection and exchange of technical-statistical data regarding cases of falsifications detected throughout the national territory. On the basis of a strategic analysis of the information received, UCAMP is constantly able to evaluate the impact of the phenomenon on the economic and financial system. Apart from the civilian staff, the Office also employs a team of Guardia di Finanza members under its functional responsibility, that manages a special computerized database and cooperates with the other Police Forces.
Within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there is the Italian Central Office for Currency Counterfeiting ( UCIFM ), placed under the International Police Cooperation Service, whose duty is to centralize all information that can facilitate investigations and enhance the prevention and repression of the phenomenon. The Office employs a multi-agency staff (Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and State Police).
UCIFM and UCAMP, although operating on two different and separate levels, interact with each other in order to ensure the best possible efficient and integrated protection against Euro counterfeiting, in compliance with the principles of Community Regulation 1338/2001.
Following the introduction of Legislative Decree No. 173/2003, UCAMP has also been tasked with activities in the field of fraud committed through the use of payment means other than cash. In accordance with these new responsibilities, the Office´s activity has initially been focused on the payment card sector, i.e. credit cards and debit cards. In this specific context, it was decided to intervene at the legislative level to establish - within the Economy and Finance Ministry - a special system for the prevention of payment card frauds. Therefore a bill was drawn up and will submitted to Parliament for examination.
In the field of so-called "on-line" frauds, committed through the use of the Internet network and traceable to fraudulent transactions linked to the virtual world, appropriate and specific prevention measures are presently being considered.
In the field of training, UCAMP carries out coordination activities at both national and Community levels.
At the national level, seminars are organized in the field of the prevention of fraud committed through the use of payment means other than cash. The seminars are firstly meant for those who are professionally involved in the process of issuing and accepting payment cards and the purpose is to disseminate the legal measures introduced to enhance security in the payment sector.
At the European level, the activity of the Office is based on implementing the Community training programme called "Pericles", which is the result of the EU Council decision of December 17, 2001. In short, the "Pericles" programme is aimed at supporting and supplementing the strategies of the Member States in the field of the prevention and fight against Euro counterfeiting, in compliance with the subsidiarity principle, and also at enhancing the awareness of all parties involved in protecting the European currency. The application and coordination of the programme, whose implementation is expected to take place from January 1st 2002 to December 31st 2005, is carried out in synergy by both the member States and the EU Commission.
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