Now online crackdown should include financial fraudsters

Financial fraudsters should be hit by new online crackdown, predicts chairman of powerful committee of MPs










Financial fraudsters are likely to be hit by yet another online crackdown, the chairman of a powerful committee of MPs predicted.

The government is drafting new legislation to force social media and tech giants to do more to crack down on anyone who uses their websites to promote terrorism, cyberbully, or commit hate crimes.

The details of the online security bill are currently being debated, before they begin their journey into law next year.

Right on the pulse: Most financial scams originate online, with companies like Google and Facebook under pressure to do more to erase them from their websites.

The current draft does not cover paid advertising, which is often the means by which financial fraudsters target their victims.

For example, fraudsters post online advertisements or promote social media posts for bogus financial products in order to lure their victims.

But Mel Stride MP, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, told the Mail on Sunday he was “optimistic” the government would finally reverse its current position and include financial fraud in the bill. “I feel in my bones that this is going to happen,” he said.

The MoS, alongside city regulators, police, MPs and consumer groups, have been calling for the inclusion of financial fraud in the bill for months.

Most financial scams originate online, with companies like Google and Facebook under pressure to do more to erase them from their websites. In September, Google launched its own crackdown on paid financial ads and now only accepts ads from regulated financial companies.

However, there is currently no law to require it or any other online business to do so.

This week, the committee reviewing the online security bill will release its recommendations. Even if it does not offer the inclusion of paid online advertising, the government could still choose to do so.

Stride added that he “extremely” supports our Nail The Scammers campaign and our work to highlight the scourge of online fraudsters. The Treasury Select Committee will present its recommendations on the broader issue of tackling economic crime in the new year. Stride says they might come up with the appointment of an anti-fraud czar.

“There are a lot of different agencies that deal with fraud,” Stride said. “We are looking closely at whether we need better coordination. But we wouldn’t want to introduce another layer of bureaucracy unless it is really necessary.


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