Trade and Consumer Groups Call for Inclusion of Online Scams in Forthcoming “Online Harms Bill”

General

As the UK is about to pass a law called the “Online Harms Bill,” there has bee a growing objection to the exclusion of online scams as among the harmful online elements. Senior
MP Stephen Timms and several trade organizations and consumer groups are currently clamouring for the addition of online scams in the new bill.

After all, the purpose of the bill is to compel tech companies and advertising firms to promote internet safety against child sex abuse, hate crimes, cyber-bullying, fake news, and terrorist content. Those found violating the bill once it is implemented will pay huge fines as consequences.

Latest updates about the online scams in the UK is that there is a significant increase of frauds reported as a result of the promotion of the fraudulent schemes usually in social media sites. According to the report, there has been 50% increase since last year, numbering as many as 89,153 cases reported since January 1st, 2021. The approximate value of the amount scammed from victims has reached £406.5 million.

Senior MP Timms contends that online platforms have been profiting from fake websites and scam advertisements including those making money from Scam Smarts ads cited by the Financial Conduct Authority.

UK Finance’s Katy Worobec, MD, the finance and banking industry are still tackling problems with fraud and that they need as much help as they can, including from other industries and online platforms being utilized for scamming purposes by unscrupulous elements.

Starling Bank Anne Boden contended last January that it is the financial services sector that turns out to be the underwriter of all types of fraud that are, technical not financial fraud. If online scams will be included in The Online Safety Harms and Bill, tech giants will be constrained to take responsibility in protecting online visitors and users from this kind of threat.

MP Timms added that during the Pimfa’s Virtual Fest 2 event, Prime Minister Johnson has made a promise to look into the growing concerns about the matter