Google joined with Stop Scams UK which is an industry-led collaboration. They are enabled to stop scams at the source, protect the consumers before harm is caused. This is done by developing scam-busting initiatives, sharing threat data, and adopting the best measures to deal with and control financial scams. Stop Scams Uk has not yet partnered with any tech giant till this week.
Ronan Harris who is the Vice President and MD of Google Uk and Ireland, on Friday, proudly announced their partnership with Stop Scams UK. Google no doubt is the first biggest tech collaborating with Stop Scams. With the support of the members including Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest Group, and Vodafone. Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are all set to operate to put down the scams.
According to the estimations carried out by UK Finance; £1.26 billion ($1.75bn) was stolen because of scams last year in the UK.
Scams and theft are common for a long time. Almost every trick has been used by the threat actors. Fake messages, calls, emails disguising to be originated from banks and insurers, as well as social engineering. But now as the pandemic hit worldwide, new forms of scams are been originated.
During the pandemic, many people lost jobs as businesses collapsed. This resulted in everyone being scared for the future. While taking full advantage of the mishap situation, scammers went out to the extreme extend to scam as much as they can. They performed various activities in their attempt to scam like
- Delivery-based text messages.
- Fake vaccination appointments and reminders.
- Fake vaccination charges.
- Romance scams.
- Fake investment opportunities.
- Illegal use of the photos of trusted financial experts in an attempt to fool individuals.
- Touting malicious cryptocurrency schemes.
According to the estimations of Action Fraud, £2 million was lost to coronavirus-themed scams between the start of the pandemic and April 2020 alone.
It is been observed that the Scammers use standard letters which are usually sent in the post, text messages, email, phone calls, or social media platforms. It to get attracted to their victims. Google has mortgaged $5 million (£3.5m) in advertising credits to give organizations a wider scope to launch public awareness campaigns regarding these scams while working with the FCA.
Google has decided to develop more restrictions in United Kingdom’s advertisement firms platforms for financial services in the upcoming months.
Ronan Harris commented;
“Over the past year, we introduced several verification processes to learn more about the advertisers and their business operations, During the verification period, we pause advertiser accounts if their advertising or business practices are suspected of causing harm. We are currently requiring all UK financial services, advertisers, to complete these programs to run ads.”
In 2020, Over 4,000 websites were added to the FCA’s warning list. They were warned of operating scam operations and according to the Google’s has updated advertising policies, it is prevented to the use of terms that make unrealistic promises regarding financial returns.
“Our teams are working hard on this issue because we all want UK consumers to feel safe and protected when they are managing their finances,” Google says. “Even as attempts by scammers evolve, we will continue to take strong action and work in partnership with others to help keep consumers safe.”
Google is up to so many things at the moment. Google has also stepped up its game by announcing an upcoming, automatic enrollment into two-step verification (2SV) of more and more users. The security cannot rely solely on Passwords now. So the two-factor authentication would help by ensuring more security. One more option is using hardware-based verification, such as the Google Titan key fob.
However, with Google’s involvement in Stop Scams Uk, fewer scams are all we can hope for.