Google cracks down on financial fraud ads

Phone and credit card

Victims of financial fraud can have devastating financial and emotional consequences

Google is cracking down on financial fraud ads in the UK.

After August 30, companies promoting financial services on search engines must be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Last year, the FCA issued 1,200 consumer warnings about fraud advertised by fake businesses through social media platforms.

Google’s latest move was an “important step,” he said, but a permanent solution may be required by law.

Ronan Harris, Managing Director of Google UK and Ireland Said: “Today’s announcement reflects significant progress in providing a safer experience for users, publishers and advertisers.

“We understand that this policy update will affect different advertisers in the financial services sector, but our top priority is to keep our users safe on the platform.”

Cryptocurrency advertising is already regulated and only exchanges registered with the FCA can advertise.

Awareness campaign

Google also said it is participating in the campaign group Stop Scams UK. This is the first major technology company.

We also promised $ 5 million (£ 3.6 million) in advertising credit to support the awareness campaign.

Evidence submitted to the Finance Commission earlier this month suggests that the FCA paid Google more than £ 600,000 to run fraud prevention ads between 2020 and 2021.

“The irony of having to pay on social media to publish a warning about an ad that they are receiving money is not lost to us,” FCA Mark Steward said at the time.

Fraud consumer

According to Stop Scams UK, criminals stole more than £ 1.2 billion in scams and scams in 2020.

A single scam usually tricks consumers into using multiple legitimate platforms.

And the harm goes beyond economics and has also hurt people’s mental and physical health.

In March, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey urged the government to introduce legal requirements for Internet companies to remove financial fraud websites.

At the time, he suggested that the issue could be addressed through an online harm bill, and investment fraud was added to the law at the last minute.

However, there is no mention of online advertising, which is considered one of the main ways scammers are open to the public.

Emotional consequences

According to UK Finance, 7 out of 10 financial frauds start online.

In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has further increased fraudulent advertising on search engines and social media sites.

Which is the consumer watchdog? “We have repeatedly published fraudulent ads on Google that could have devastating economic and emotional consequences for victims,” ​​the study said.

“It’s good to realize that Google has to take much greater responsibility for fraudulent advertising that leads to financial fraud,” which one? Policy director Rossio Concha said.

But its success will be judged “whether they stop the flow of fraudulent advertising.”

She also urged the government to legally hold search engines and social media companies responsible for “removing fake and fraudulent content on the site.”

And the FCA told BBC News: “It is important for all social media companies to ensure that financial promotions using their services comply with UK law, and to ensure that all social media companies comply. I’m looking forward to it. “

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