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Switzerland

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Depending on the individual design and purpose of a phishing mail or website, such phishing or mining can constitute the following criminal offences:

• Fraudulent use of a trademark or a copyright protected work (Article 62 of the Swiss Trade Mark Protection Act, Article 67 of the Swiss Copyright Act);
• Forgery of a document (Article 251 SCC); or
• Computer fraud: Unauthorized use of data and transferring of financial assets through phishing (Article 147 SCC), each of which is punishable by a custodial sen-tence not exceeding five years, or by a monetary penalty if committed for commercial gain.

Furthermore, in phishing cases, the criminal offence of money laundering (Article 305bis SCC), with a penalty of a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or a monetary penalty, can build part of the accusation (see the decision by the Federal Criminal Court, BG.2011.43).
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has reported that, from 2012 to 2016, 455 criminal complaints with regard to phishing were filed by banks, authorities and private per-sons. Many cases were closed without an outcome due to lack of evidence or offenders re-maining unidentified. Other cases, especially those involving requests for mutual legal assis-tance of foreign authorities, are still pending.

Provided By:
Roland Mathys, Schellenberg Wittmer and Clara-Ann Gordon, Niederer Kraft Frey