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Government takes first steps to ease investment scam epidemic

12 May 2021

If you are covering the publication of the Online Safety Bill, please see the following comment from Debbie Barton, financial crime prevention expert at Quilter:

“We are delighted to see the government take the first step in tackling online investment scams by including user-generated fraud within scope of the Online Safety Bill. For the first time, social media sites will have a duty to prevent sham investment schemes from appearing on their sites and this will have a big impact on protecting investors, particularly young investors, from financial harm.   

“But while this is a big step forward, there is still much further to go. The government should now consider including fraud facilitated through advertising, emails or cloned websites. 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.

“It would be hard to explain to an investment scam victim why they have suffered as a result of scam facilitated through an online advert, whereas they would receive protections if the scam was instead published by a user on social media.”

James Ventress

Corporate Affairs Executive