Carnegie UK Trust joins coalition on Online Scams

May 7, 2021

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Carnegie UK Trust has joined a coalition of 17 organisations championing consumers and representing civil society and business to call on the government to include online scams in the proposed Online Safety Bill, which is due to be announced in next week’s Queen Speech.  

In a joint letter to the Home Secretary and Digital Secretary, members of the coalition have urged the government to reconsider the scope of the Bill so that consumers are better protected against the devastating financial and emotional harm caused by these crimes.

The organisations that have signed the letter alongside the Carnegie UK Trust include Which?, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, UK Finance, the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA), the City of London Corporation, City of London Police, The Investment Association, Association of British Insurers (ABI), MoneySavingExpert and Age UK.

Recent figures from Action Fraud show that £1.7 billion was reportedly lost to scams in the last year. The actual financial losses are likely to be much higher and do not capture the devastating emotional impact on victims. Research also shows that vulnerable people, including those experiencing mental health problems, are more at risk of falling victim to these crimes online.

William Perrin, Carnegie UK Trust Trustee says: “Our work has set out the case for a systemic, statutory duty of care that would make online platforms take responsibility for the design and processes of their services to reduce online harm. This new research underlines the urgent need for action to protect consumers from harms such as online fraud and scams – and the Online Safety Bill is the way to do it. Both the City of London Police and the National Economic Crime Centre have told Parliament that their current powers are not enough to limit the spread of online fraud and scams. It is vital that the Government reconsider their inclusion in the Online Safety Bill.”

You can read the coalition’s letter to the Home Secretary and the DCMS Secretary of State here.