December 23, 2023

The Government is under intense pressure to outlaw fraudulent paid-for adverts in forthcoming legislation after MPs backed the move in a new report.

Industry and consumer groups, politicians and regulators have long demanded action against harmful advertising, which lures unsuspecting savers and investors to hand over cash to fraudsters touting fake or cloned deals and products.

A powerful joint committee of MPs issued a report today calling for paid-for adverts to be covered in the Online Safety Bill, to force tech firms to stop them appearing on their sites.

Scam adverts: Unsuspecting savers and investors are being lured to hand over cash to fraudsters touting fake or cloned deals and products

As well as their own sites, the tech giants control large parts of the online advertising industry, along with large advertising exchanges, leaving publishers facing a tough task to stop adverts slipping through the net.

Last week, the UK’s technology trade association TechUK announced that Facebook/Meta, Microsoft and Twitter would join Google, TikTok and Amazon in only accepting adverts from firms authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Read more from TechUK below.

Mel Stride MP, chair of the Treasury Committee, responded that it was reassuring online giants were ‘finally taking a positive step in the right direction and stopping fraudulent advertisements from appearing on their sites’.

But he said: ‘For too long these companies have turned a blind eye to the…

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