By Sally Underwood • 30 June 2021 • 9:43
Google to tackle rise of online financial scams in UK
According to Reuters, the internet giant announced that from September 6 all financial services companies will need to be verified by regulators before Google will show their adverts.
Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial services watchdog, issued more than 1,200 warnings over scam adverts online, twice the figure in 2019.
An FCA spokesman said: “While this is an important step from Google we think a permanent and consistent solution requires legislation.”
The FCA added that it will assess whether the move has helped cut down on the number of online scam adverts once the new measure comes into effect.
The news comes after earlier this month the FCA refused to say whether it would accept Google’s offer to pay back the £600,000 (€696,956) the regulator had spent on online adverts warning consumers of scams.
Following the news, Labour MP accused Google of “profiting from fraud and costing the Financial Conduct Authority money.”
A Google spokesman later said: “Protecting consumers and legitimate businesses operating in the financial sector is a priority for us. We have been working in consultation with the FCA for over a year to implement new measures and we are developing further restrictions to financial services advertising to tackle the scale of this issue. To help protect people from financial fraud in the UK, we have pledged $5m (€4.2 million) in advertising credits to support public awareness campaigns.”
The issue of fake online adverts has seen thousands of consumers lose money after signing up to fraudulent financial services companies, with critics now calling on the government to intervene to prevent the adverts being shown in the UK.
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Originally from London, Sally is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a journalist for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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