UK News We launch campaign to fight growing scourge of online financial fraud in Britain: Stop the online SCAMMERS

02:30  08 may  2021
02:30  08 may  2021 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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Google has joined Stop Scams and outlined new measures to try and clamp down on financial fraud in the United Kingdom. Now, while working with the FCA, Google has pledged million (£3.5m) in advertising credits to give organizations a wider scope to launch public awareness campaigns . In addition, Google says that the company is going to spend the next few months developing and rolling out further restrictions for financial services in the United Kingdom that advertise through the firm's platform in order to tout fraudulent 'opportunities' to invest, to start a pension, and more.

Insurance fraud cases could spike in the current tough economic climate, a new “ stop the scams ” campaign warns.The insurance industry has launched the campaign to help people. With many people having lost money due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, scammers may well use this to offer to recover financial losses. – Ghost brokers. Fraudsters pose as insurance providers and offer unrealistically cheap insurance deals, such as fake car insurance, on social media.

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The Mail today launches a campaign to fight the growing scourge of online financial fraud in Britain.

Criminals are using sophisticated internet investment scams to swindle life-changing sums from victims – leaving many pensioners destitute later in life.

The crooks often use fraudulent adverts and websites to tout bogus schemes ranging from bonds and pensions to bitcoin.

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And in a sinister development, many now use images of celebrities or household names such as Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Aviva, M&G and Hargreaves Lansdown without permission to lure victims into a false sense of security.

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Financial fraud doesn't just happen online . The Money Advice Service found last year that two thirds of UK adults had received suspicious phone calls, while scammers can also operate door-to-door. Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances .

A description on the site, which does not yet reveal the price of its products, also says: ' We are a fast- growing , ambitious team that is currently working intensively on the future of the company. 'Our profile is the retail chain in the food sector that offers its customers good goods for little money. However, Aldi was named as the cheapest supermarket in a more recent study by the same consumer group, which compared the cost of 20 essential items in each of Britain 's biggest supermarket chains in April. The list includes branded items such as Cadbury Dairy Milk and Heinz Beanz, as well as own

More than £78m was lost to these 'brand cloning' scams last year – an average of £45,000 per person – and the figure is rapidly rising, according to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.

Overall it is thought that £1.7billion was lost to fraud last year, with 85 per cent of cases taking place online.

Victims are often elderly. Many are approaching, or in, retirement and the devastating losses can mean they are forced to work longer or potentially sell their home.

And the proceeds are being used by criminal gangs to finance further crimes including drug trafficking, child sexual exploitation and even terrorism.

Despite this, sham ads and websites have been waved through with minimal scrutiny by telecoms companies and internet giants such as Google and Facebook, which make a profit from their placement.

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As retail online banks continue the fight against fraud it has become clear that increasingly sophisticated techniques from today’s fraudsters demand more complex solutions to help protect customers. The losses to UK online banks may be on the decline but the issue is still highly The limitations of online support have, however, been exposed during the pandemic. “Banks like other sectors have done what they can to mitigate the impact of loneliness by setting up things like pub quizzes, yoga and meditation,” said Paul Barrett, head of wellbeing at the Bank Workers Charity (BWC).

That not only creates the opportunity for financial fraud , such as money laundering or other schemes, but it denies sorely needed protections to customers, like the scores of frustrated collectors who are now struggling to withdraw their money from NBA Top Shot. 'It's so unregulated you can't even get your money out,' said Stark, a self-described NBA fanatic and Top Shot collector. Further complicating transactions and account withdrawals have been the frequent technical issues and subsequent maintenance on the site, which remains in its beta form despite being online for nearly two years.

So today, we are calling on the Government to take action against these despicable scams by including internet fraud in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill, also known as the Online Harms Bill. We want web giants to be given a legal responsibility for the ads and websites they carry on their platforms. This would include verifying whether these ads and websites are legitimate and not linked to fraud.

Our Stamp Out Investment Fraud campaign is backed by Britain's biggest banks, asset managers and insurers, as well as elderly charity Age UK and consumer champion Which?.

City institutions who support it include TheCityUK, the Investment Association, UK Finance, City of London Corporation, City of London Police, Innovate Finance, the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (Pimfa) and the Association of British Insurers. The Financial Conduct Authority – the City watchdog – says it has also 'very clearly' recommended that online fraud be included in the government bill.

Aviva backs calls for Government crackdown on financial fraud

  Aviva backs calls for Government crackdown on financial fraud At least 27 fake websites were set up in Aviva's name to dupe victims into handing over cash. It warned that shutting down the scammer websites is like playing 'whack-a-mole' under the current rules.At least 27 fake websites were set up in Aviva's name to dupe unsuspecting victims into handing over cash.

Also, as with any high-tech fraud or cybersecurity attack, staying ahead of fraudsters is difficult. Once an avenue of attack is closed, scammers quickly move on to another vulnerability in the network and develop more sophisticated methods of attack. The better news is that the FCC is moving quickly to qualify the capabilities of STIR/SHAKEN, with Chairman Ajit Pai recently hosting a summit focused on the industry’s implementation of the technology. The not-so-good news is that the necessary network upgrades take time, and for STIR/SHAKEN to work effectively, it not only requires session initiation

Bosses join Mail's fight to rid Britain of the scourge of car parking pirates. Charities condemn tactics used by parking bullies to target hospital patients. Macmillan Cancer Support contact Daily Mail to highlight 'charge on the sick'. They purposefully make the payment instructions confusing to maximize their profits. The whole thing is morally reprehensible and should be stopped .’ The incident happened in April this year and Parking Eye eventually cancelled the fine but insisted there was no record the pair had paid.

Backing the campaign last night, Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, said: 'Online financial scams have increased hugely since the start of the pandemic, with devastating consequences for victim's lives.

'We're urging the Government to include these scams in the Online Safety Bill, and regulate online platforms to ensure the adverts they carry are legitimate and people are protected.'

Liz Field, chief executive of Pimfa, said they welcome the campaign. She said: 'Online fraud is ruining lives and it is growing at an alarming rate. We urge the Government to take notice.'

And Anabel Hoult, chief executive of Which?, said: 'We are delighted that the Daily Mail is taking a stand on behalf of the millions of people at risk of being caught out by fraudsters.

'Online platforms like Google and Facebook are not doing enough to tackle an epidemic of scams, leaving users dangerously exposed to devastating financial and emotional harm.'

Last night Facebook said it was putting 'significant resources' into tackling scams, while Google said it had joined forces with banks in Stop Scams UK to take down bogus content quickly.

Britain's 'Crash for Cash' scam capitals revealed: Birmingham and Bradford are hotspots for bogus injury claims from choreographed road accidents

  Britain's 'Crash for Cash' scam capitals revealed: Birmingham and Bradford are hotspots for bogus injury claims from choreographed road accidents The Insurance Fraud Bureau says single gangs can be behind thousands of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the combined value running into millions of pounds. © Provided by This Is Money ( The hotspots analysis confirms Birmingham remains the most prevalent area in the UK for the dangerous scam, accounting for seven of the 30 worst hit postcodes.It is followed by Bradford (also with seven postcodes in the top 30), Manchester, London and Luton, which are all seeing an increase in claims being made by fraudsters who purposely force drivers into crashes.The IFB's analysis of 2.

The gaping hole in new internet law

The Online Safety Bill is set to feature in the Queen's Speech next week.

At the moment, it aims to tackle internet content that harms users, particularly children, and deal with issues of child safety, bullying and extremist content.

But it excludes the crucial issue of online financial fraud – an omission that campaigners and the Mail believe is a serious mistake. Today we call for:

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has called for financial scams to be covered by the bill. And the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has made a 'clear recommendation' to ministers for financial fraud to be included in the bill.

Tricked by fake Aviva site

Pensioners Donald and Val Woodhams lost £11,000 last year in an online scam.

Mrs Woodhams, 73, found an internet ad that had Aviva's branding and transferred £2,000 and £9,000 over two days from her Nationwide account.

Paperwork sent through showed her new account had been credited with £171 interest. Mr Woodhams, 75, decided to invest his £50,000 in the same bond. But his first £10,000 transfer on January 6 was blocked after Nationwide flagged it as suspicious. But the building society refused to refund his wife her £11,000 losses because it said she had ignored the scam warnings on her screen.

FCA boss demands crackdown on internet scams as ministers face growing backlash over new online safety laws

  FCA boss demands crackdown on internet scams as ministers face growing backlash over new online safety laws Nikhil Rathi (pictured), chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said fraudsters are luring victims by advertising sham investment schemes with impunity online.Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, warned that fraudsters are luring victims by advertising sham investment schemes online with impunity.


Victims of 'brand cloning' investment scams are losing a staggering £45,000 each.

The total amount lost to this type of fraud in 2020 alone reached £78m, according to Action Fraud.

The group said that amounted to an average of £45,242 per victim.

The issue may be even more widespread because many victims do not immediately realise they have been duped or feel too ashamed to come forward. They are often elderly people who are in retirement or approaching it, meaning that such huge losses can leave them destitute in their twilight years. City institutions are warning that the rise of brand cloning scams is one of the most concerning trends in fraud. By impersonating legitimate businesses online, using their brand and logos in digital ads and fake websites, criminals lull their victims into a false sense of security. The sophisticated scams sometimes involve entire call centres full of staff with false email addresses and documentation.

Victims are promised decent returns and then persuaded to hand over cash by bank transfer – with many not realising for months that they have been duped.

Con artists have masqueraded as household names including Aviva, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. Banks have been under increasing pressure to block dodgy transactions and warn customers about such schemes, but now the finance industry is calling for web giants such as Google and Facebook to be held to account as well.

Anne Boden, boss of UK digital bank Starling, said: 'We need the internet firms, social media companies and telecoms providers to take responsibility.'

Matt Oliver

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