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UK government’s online safety bill ‘will fail to protect millions’

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Experts have warned that the government’s new online safety bill will leave people vulnerable to fraudsters using cloned websites and will “fail to protect millions”.

According to the government, the bill will “lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all”.

However, experts in the field said that the bill focuses mainly on scams and fake investment opportunities on social media, and leaves loopholes for criminals to exploit for other common scams that can trick people online.

Financial crime prevention expert at wealth management company Quilter, Debbie Barton, commended the bill for protecting investors from financial harm, but added that more needed to be done.

“The government should now consider including fraud facilitated through advertising, emails or cloned websites,” Barton said.

“With each day that passes, around £214,000 is lost to UK consumers from clone firm fraud, so the government should not kick the can even further down the road and should take action with this bill.”

UK Finance, the industry body for banks, said the bill will deal with some kinds of fraud, but would still fail to protect people from many scams online.

UK Finance chief executive, David Postings, said: “As more of us have shifted online because of the pandemic, we’ve seen a spike in money mule activity, investment and purchase scams over the last year because criminals can target people directly in their homes across online platforms.

“We encourage government to include all economic crime within the bill when it is formally introduced. Not doing so leaves a large proportion of the public at high risk of being scammed online because criminals are experts in adapting their tactics to exploit any loopholes.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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