Martin Lewis criticized the government for its failure to include the scams in its new online security plans spelled out in the Queen’s Speech.
The founder of Money Saving Expert has been fighting fake online endorsements and scams for years, with many scammers still using his name and image to fool unsuspecting members of the public.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting national lockdown, an increase in online spending has seen opportunistic scammers take advantage of the current situation to exploit people.
Scams including the names of HMRC, Royal Mail and big UK banks have been making the rounds of personal information that could put people’s finances at risk.
Scammers will often make contact via email, phone, and text message using sophisticated methods to trick people into disclosing their personal information.
It was hoped that a crackdown on online scams would be part of the online safety bill, but this was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech or detailed in the plans released afterwards.
Mr Lewis said the move let criminals “get away with fraud”, telling the government it “has failed to protect millions of people”.
“The Queen read that” My government will lead the way in ensuring Internet safety for everyone, especially children, “Lewis said in a statement on Twitter.
“Yet the government has tripped over the first barrier, by not including the scams in the online safety bill.
“We live in a world where scam policing is dangerously underfunded, letting criminals get away with fraud.
“It was a chance to at least deny them ‘the oxygen of advertising’ by making big tech responsible for the scammers’ ads they are paid to run.
“By failing to do so, the government has failed to protect millions of people, in the midst of a pandemic, from one of the most damaging online harms to their financial and mental health.”
My statement on behalf (as chairman) of both @mmhpi and @MoneySavingExp on the fact that the government did not include the scams in the online safety bill announced as future legislation in the #Queensspeech… pic.twitter.com/m78zL9oUBP
– Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) May 11, 2021
The financial expert said he had “little hope” that “the door is ajar for scams to be added to the bill at committee stage,” adding: “We will continue to expose this gap and push ministers to properly put in place consumer protections against scams. ”
Reacting to the plans, MP Stephen Timms, Chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: ‘Every day that goes by without proper regulation of online advertising gives crooks a free pass to prey on people on the internet. .
“The government has been told time and again by countless consumer groups and government agencies of the enormous financial and emotional damage caused by this free online program, but has so far failed to act.”
Consumer group Which one? said the case of including the scams in the bill is “overwhelming.”
“Online scams have a devastating financial and emotional impact on victims – and too often platforms like Facebook and Google worryingly expose their users to criminals operating on their sites,” said Anabel Hoult, CEO of Which?
“The current self-regulatory approach is not suited to its purpose.”
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This notice was published: 2021-05-13 06:29:00