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Online Fraud

Volume 740: debated on Wednesday 15 November 2023

Tackling fraud is a priority for this Government. The Online Safety Act 2023 requires regulated companies to mitigate the risk posed by fraud and scams on their services. In addition, Ofcom will publish codes of practice recommending steps for companies to take.

All companies in scope of the Act will need to take action to tackle fraud where it is facilitated through user-generated content or via search results. They must take measures to prevent fraudulent content from appearing on their platforms, and swiftly remove it if it does so. Additionally, there will be a duty on the largest social media platforms and search engines that will require them to tackle fraudulent adverts on their services.

I thank the Minister for that response. I have heard from numerous constituents who have been victims of online scams where perpetrators ask for bank details over the phone. What steps can the Minister take to make people, especially elderly people—they are the ones who come to me—more aware of what to look out for in terms of online scams, to ensure that the money that they have earned over their lifetime is not stolen?

As I said, there will be a duty on the largest social media platforms that will require them to tackle fraudulent adverts. That will have a significant impact in preventing a range of online frauds, including romance scams and scam ads. I will also talk to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury on the hon. Member’s behalf, because the Government have a fraud strategy.