Ministers set to face a grilling from MPs over their lack of action to tackle online scams
- John Glen and Damian Hinds set to appear before the Treasury committee
- They will be questioned on fraud action plan, which critics say has ‘no meat to it’
- And why they are still refusing to include scams in the Online Safety Bill
- Britons were conned out of £753.9m in the first six months of this year alone
Ministers will today face a grilling from MPs over their lack of action to tackle online scams.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, and security minister Damian Hinds are set to appear before the Treasury committee amid a rising tide of internet fraud.
They will be questioned over their fraud action plan, which critics claim has ‘no meat to it’, and why they are still refusing to include scams in the Online Safety Bill.
In the shadows: Britons were conned out of £753.9m in the first six months of this year alone
It comes as banks warn this festive period is likely to be the ‘busiest ever’ for criminals looking to ensnare unsuspecting victims, as the pandemic has pushed shoppers online.
Britons were conned out of £753.9m in the first six months of this year alone – up 30 per cent on the same time in 2020, according to data from UK Finance. Tory MP Mel Stride, the committee’s chairman, said: ‘It’s clear that further action is needed to protect individuals. As MPs, we’ve heard numerous heart-breaking stories of individuals who have fallen victim to scammers.
‘We will question ministers on how they plan to stop scammers, protect people from fraud and make sure that victims are compensated. With out more action from the Government, an increasing number of innocent individuals will fall victim to these criminals.’
Liz Ziegler, of Lloyds Bank, said: ‘With many consumers now prepared to take increased risks with their purchases due to fears of supply shortages nearer Christmas, this Black Friday period is likely to be one of the busiest ever for criminals looking to snare online bargain hunters.’
Banks, regulators, campaigners and MPs are all calling on the Government to include scams in the Online Safety Bill, to put a duty on tech companies to make sure their platforms are safe and to vet any adverts they take.
The Daily Mail has been urging ministers to take action. But so far they have refused to include scams in the bill.
The Government claims it will examine scam adverts in its online advertising programme in the future.