Almost 6 in 10 (56%) consumers do not believe that search engines verify the authenticity of a financial product, service, or provider, according to the latest Aviva Fraud Report released today.
Those over 55 were much less likely to trust the results of a search engine than those aged 16 to 24 with only 29% of over 55s trusting the results compared to 59% of 16 to 24 year olds.
Almost 9 in 10 (87%) people want the Government to legislate to ensure that search engines and social media sites do not mislead consumers or promote financial scams.
Rob Lee, director of fraud prevention at Aviva, said: “There is a clear mistrust of financial services adverts online. However, there is no legal responsibility for technology firms to verify the legitimacy of the companies which pay them to publish adverts on their platforms. This potentially leaves millions of internet users exposed to unscrupulous adverts.
“We believe the Online Safety Bill presents an opportunity to protect financial services consumers at every stage of their online journey. We welcome the recent inclusion of user-generated fraud - such as that promoted on social media sites - within the scope of the regulatory framework. We support the financial services industry in calling for the legislation to include financial scams promoted by paid-for adverts.”
According to the report, the scale of fraud has accelerated through the Coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a deluge of opportunities for fraudsters over the last year. Aviva’s research found two-in-five (42%) people have been targeted by a Coronavirus scam. This is a 91% increase over the last year in the number of people who reported receiving emails, texts, phone calls and other communications mentioning coronavirus, and which were suspected to be a financial scam.
Aviva’s research, conducted by Censuswide with a sample of 2,005 nationally representative respondents, was performed between 30 June and 5 July.
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