Friday, February 23

‘Push harder and act faster’: Treasury Committee backs calls to include paid-for scam ads in Online Safety Bill

The Treasury Committee’s report, which referenced evidence given to the Joint Committee on the Online Safety Bill by Martin Lewis – and the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute’s founder – warned that work done by the Government so far was still “not urgent enough ” to “stem the rise” of people falling victim to online scams. The Treasury Committee also made a series of recommendations – see below.

Currently, there are few meaningful powers in place to prevent scam adverts from appearing online, and regulators are unable to punish the big tech platforms that get paid to publish them. Some victims have lost life-changing sums of money, even their life savings, because they trusted the reputations of the people featured falsely in the adverts.

Martin has long campaigned on this – he even successfully sued Facebook in 2019 getting a £3 million settlement to set up a new scam help charity. And in May 2021, Martin alongside a coalition of charities, agencies, regulators and trade bodies sent a joint letter calling on the Government to use the upcoming Bill to help protect people from an avalanche of online scams.