Coalition urges UK government to add scams to online safety bill


UK Finance, Which? And the City of London Police are among a host of organizations to sign a letter calling on the government to include online scams in its new online safety bill.

The bill seeks to force businesses – through the threat of massive fines – to improve internet security in areas such as terrorist content, child sexual abuse, hate crimes, cyberbullying and the dissemination of false information.

However, financial fraud was not included in the bill – which could be announced in the Queen’s speech next week – prompting 17 organizations representing civil society and business to write to the minister. Home Affairs Priti Patel and Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.

According to the letter: “Online platforms play a central role in allowing criminals to reach and defraud internet users by hosting, promoting and targeting bogus and fraudulent content on their sites, including advertisements they make significant profits.

“Yet platforms have very little legal responsibility to protect their users, although they are often best placed to tackle harmful content.”

The letter – signed by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Carnegie UK Trust, PIMFA, MoneySavingExpert and Age UK, among others – continues: “We believe that false and fraudulent content that leads to scams should be included in the scope of online project application Security Bill.

“This would require online platforms to identify, remove and prevent bogus and fraudulent content from being hosted on their sites, by putting in place incentives for the platforms to collaborate with the telecommunications, banking and finance industries to fight against economic crime. “

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