Britain open to law to combat rise in online scams - minister

UK yields hit day's high after patchy demand in 10-year auction
UK yields hit day's high after patchy demand in 10-year auction   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Iain Withers and Huw Jones</p> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> -Britain is open to legislating to stop an explosion in scam adverts online being a significant source of fraud, financial services minister John Glen has told lawmakers.</p> <p>Victims’ groups and campaigners have called for fraudulent adverts to be incorporated in the government’s planned Online Safety Bill, which currently only covers user-generated content.</p> <p>“We are very sympathetic to that,” Glen told the Treasury Select Committee. “This is a massive problem. This is a significant opportunity in the absence of a better solution.”</p> <p>A British record of 754 million pounds ($1 billion) was stolen in the first six months of this year, up 30% from the same period in 2020, according to data from banking industry body UK Finance, and up more than 60% from 2017, when it began compiling the figures.</p> <p>Several government departments are involved in trying to stop online scams, raising concerns among committee members that solutions are too slow to emerge.</p> <p>“You’re being very good at describing how difficult it all is, but what are you actually going to be doing about it?” said lawmaker Angela Eagle.</p> <p>Glen said the finance ministry was liaising with the digital, culture, media and sport ministry (<span class="caps">DCMS</span>) – which is also looking at the problem of online scams – to try and find the best solution.</p> <p>The Treasury committee has previously told representatives from Facebook, Google, Amazon and eBay they needed to do more to combat fraud.</p> <p>Cybersecurity experts and banks have said Britain has become a global target for fraud attacks due to relatively light policing of fraud-related crime, a super-fast payments infrastructure and use of the world’s most widely used language English. </p> <p>“This is an absolute priority. I am not satisfied where we are on this,” Glen said, adding that prevention needs to be a big part of the response.</p> <p>“The challenge is how can we make effective intervention that is really going to bear down on this,” Glen said. </p> <p>($1 = 0.7513 pounds)</p> </div>