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UK regulators warn Google about accepting fraudulent ads | Financial Conduct Authority

City regulators Google If you want to continue to accept ads for online financial scams that are rampant during a pandemic, social media companies.

Mark Steward, chief operating officer of the Financial Conduct Authority, told the Treasury Special Committee on Monday that the UK has until recently taken steps against online platforms that failed to screen financial ads to confirm approval by FCA-certified companies. He said he couldn’t take. Or an individual.

This is because EU regulations on financial advertising did not extend to online platforms such as Google. This “exception” effectively allowed fraudulent ads to be posted online, as fraudsters did not have to perform additional checks. But the FCA is now free to crack down on rule violators, Steward said.

“It’s not immediately clear if social media really knew what this change really meant. We made them aware,” Steward said. “We now have considerable traction with the social media industry to force change,” he added. If the company does not follow this, “we will take action.”

The warning occurs a month after the City of London Police and consumer groups. Joined forces to encourage government Google and Facebook We are legally responsible for fake and fraudulent advertising.

However, FCA’s newly regained power could be another way to retain an online platform to account for the surge in online fraud.

Scams and scams have escalated over the past year as locked-down consumers spend more time online. Some people lose money after investigating their investments using search engines during record low interest rates, while others are fooled by ads on social media sites. Many scams involve cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and schemes that claim to provide early access to pension pots.

The FCA said it was forced to issue 1,200 warnings online last year for fraudulent ads on Google and social media platforms that have not been issued or approved by FCA-certified companies. This is twice the number published in 2019.

“This is what Google was able to recognize at the gateway before allowing it. [those adverts] As it appears in the search, “Steward said.

Companies such as Google are benefiting from online scammers who are paying for advertising on their platforms, according to MP. Meanwhile, Google has also made money from regulators such as FCA. The FCA spent around £ 600,000 in 2020 to place its own fraud prevention ads accordingly.

Anthony Brown, a Conservative MP and a member of the Finance Commission, said most people “absolutely” to the fact that social media companies, especially Google, “benefit by promoting fraud.” I was shocked. “

“The legal definition of fraud is making a financial profit from fraud, and Google is gaining an economic advantage here and is fooling customers who use Google,” said the British Banking Association. Former CEO Brown said.

“It doesn’t generate content, but it puts out fraudulent content there and enacts fraud. In fact, it seems like we need to file a proceeding here,” Brown added. ..

Brown asked how far the FCA would go to punish companies that violated the rules. “You hint at that [you] If social media companies such as Google are not compliant with the financial services market, will they take legal action? “

“Yes,” Steward replied.

A Google spokeswoman said protecting consumers and legitimate financial services companies is a company’s priority. The company has ring-fenced $ 5 million worth of Google Ads credits to support public fraud awareness campaigns aimed at protecting people from fraud in the UK.

“We have been working with the FCA for over a year to implement new measures, and we are developing further restrictions on financial services advertising to address the scale of this issue,” they said. Said.

UK regulators warn Google about accepting fraudulent ads | Financial Conduct Authority

Source link UK regulators warn Google about accepting fraudulent ads | Financial Conduct Authority

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