City Watchdog pays Google £ 600,000 for ads at war with scammers

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City Watchdog pays Google £ 600,000 taxpayer money on ads at war with scammers

The city watchdog spent nearly £ 600,000 of taxpayer money on Google ads last year as it tried to warn consumers of internet scams.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is engaged in a battle for advertising space with scammers, who also spend millions of pounds each year on Google and other sites to promote their questionable projects.

This means that Google is making money both from scammers who pay to advertise their scams and from financial regulators who warn them.

The Financial Conduct Authority is engaged in a battle against fraudsters, who spend millions of pounds each year on Google and other sites to promote their dubious schemes.

The Members’ Work and Pensions Committee said it was “ immoral ” for tech companies to profit from advertisements posted online by crooks.

But the internet titans have no obligation to verify whether the financial products advertised on their sites are legitimate – or even whether the company that pays for the space is regulated by the FCA.

The Mail calls for the web giants to be legally responsible for blocking and removing scams from their platforms.

The Stamp Out Investment Fraud campaign, launched last week, calls for this to be part of the online safety bill.

The bill, which is due to be included in the Queen’s Speech today, covers child safety, bullying and extremist content – but it rules out financial fraud online.

Under pressure from the Mail and other activists, ministers are said to be increasingly receptive to including financial harms in the bill, and may even amend it during pre-legislative scrutiny to cover up scams.

The figures obtained by the Mail will put pressure on ministers to act.

FCA spent a total of £ 572,814 in 2020 on Google ads warning of issues of loan fee fraud investment scams as it tries to deal with the ‘pandemic’ ‘crooks promoting their projects on social media sites and search engines.

Consumers are drawn to everything from high yield bonds to low cost loans they never get – and may even be drawn to scammers who have ‘copied’ a legitimate website like Aviva or Hargreaves Lansdown.

Matt Burton, chief risk officer at wealth management firm Quilter, which had its site cloned by scammers, said: “ The rate of increase in scams is reaching pandemic proportions.

“We need people to stand up to Internet companies and ask them to control their own face on the Internet.

At a minimum, once the search engines have been notified of a scam, the bogus sites should be removed. It should be “act first and ask questions later”, not the other way around.

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