Tech giants on board to bust online scams: UK govt

The UK government announced on Thursday that eleven multinational computer corporations have promised to take more action against the problem of online scammers, marketing the commitment as a first for the world.

The following companies have ratified the Online Fraud Charter: Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Match Group, Microsoft, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. Ministers claim that this will improve user protection.

Within six months, the digital companies pledged to act more forcefully to stop and eliminate scams from their platforms, including romance scams and phony advertisements.

Verifying new advertisers, conducting more thorough inspections of online marketplaces, and allowing users of dating services to authenticate their identities are some of the actions taken.

The voluntary charter, developed with the tech firms, will also seek to prevent ads for age-restricted products such as alcohol or gambling being seen by children.

Interior minister James Cleverly described the Online Fraud Charter as “a big step forward” towards protecting the public from “sophisticated, adaptable and highly organised criminals”.

“An agreement of this kind has never been done on this scale before and I am exceptionally pleased to see tech firms working with us to turn the tide against fraudsters,” he added.

The government added that by reporting suspicious activity, assisting in the identification of those who are guilty, and removing the information, each signatory has committed to collaborating closely with law authorities to pursue fraudsters.

About 40% of all crimes in England and Wales are fraudulent, and social media or phony websites are the source of 80% of all sanctioned push payment fraud.

According to Antony Walker, the deputy chief executive of the techUK trade association, the new regulations expand upon those that tech companies have previously implemented.

But it will enable “better and more consistent cooperation between the private sector, government and law enforcement,” he added.

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