Labour to force tech giants to cough up for online scams

scam branson and lewis 2The Labour Party has vowed to force tech giants to contribute to the costs of fighting online fraud amid plans to get the firms to reimburse victims if the scams are advertised on their platform.

The policy, which is set to be announced this week, has already been backed by Lloyds Banking Group. Until now, the cost of reimbursing victims of fraud has fallen on the banks. However, from October this year, the Payment Systems Regulator plans to mandate reimbursement in almost all cases.

Labour believes tech companies should also play a key role with some claiming that the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to make advertising scams ever more sophisticated.

According to UK Finance figures, 232,429 authorised push payment scam cases were reported in Britain last year, resulting in losses of £459.7m, although nthis figure is likely to be much higher as most scams go unreported.

Labour says it will work with the banks and tech giants to examine fairer system for scam prevention, investigation and reimbursement.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson told The Sunday Times: “Almost 80% of scmas start online, and we have long called for social media and tech companies to do more to protect their users and help refund innocent victims.

“We welcome the positive steps to stop these crimes at source and we’re ready to play our part. Banks have been at the forefront of tackling this epidemic but they cannot fight it alone.”

Late last month, advertising literacy charity Media Smart supported the UK Government’s National Campaign Against Fraud through a new scam ad awareness campaign, as the industry continues its drive to help young people understand advertising and media as part of its broader literacy programme.

With research from Action Fraud showing over a thousand children and teenagers in the UK are scammed every month, the new activity aims to help 13- to 18-year-olds identify possible scams and how to avoid them. It will also offer resources on how to report them on social media platforms, Action Fraud and the Advertising Standards Authority, and where those affected can go for support.

The “Scam flags add up to a scam” push has been co-branded with the new National Campaign Against Fraud – Stop! Think Fraud – which the Home Office launched in February to provide consistent, clear and robust anti-fraud advice to the general public.

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