North East UK news Pensions Minister Guy Opperman blasts Google for running scam adverts MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The North East MP says search engine giant Google is failing to protect people from crooks out to steal their pension savings
Breaking News ! Northumberland MP Guy Opperman has launched an outspoken attack on search engine giant Google - saying it "can no longer be trusted" because it runs adverts from crooks out to scam people out of their money. Mr Opperman, the Government minister responsible for pensions, spoke out to warn the public not to trust what they find on Google. He said Google could protect people using the search engine by vetting firms before running their adverts. While this would be expensive, Mr Opperman said Google could afford it because it made billions in profits. A Google spokesperson said: "Protecting consumers and credible businesses operating in the financial sector is a priority for us. We have been working in consultation with the Financial Conduct Authority for over a year and have implemented new measures to address the bad actors in this space. Last year, we updated our financial services policies and removed 3.1 billion bad ads from our platforms." Read More Related Articles More than one in 50 people in the North East suffer the misery of 'long Covid' Read More Related Articles As lockdown ends, how do we get the North East's economy moving again? As Pensions Minister, Mr Opperman has overseen efforts to enrol more people into workplace pension schemes and to help people with multiple pensions discover where their money is held. But he has become infuriated with Google's failure to protect pension holders from fraudsters out to rob them of their savings. Scams include crooks copying the website of a well-known pension firm and then paying Google to display an advert directing people to the fake site. People who have accounts with the real pension firm can then be tricked into entering their username and password. In an interview with the Times and speaking on Twitter, Mr Opperman accused the search engine giant of failing to keep a promise to vet advertisers - and of profiting from fraudsters paying for adverts on the search engine.
. People are being scammed by crooks because they are being deceived by cloned investment sites, advertised mostly on Google, but to a lesser degree on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin. They think they are accessing a legitimate investment company. Sadly for many they are not. "Google could fix this problem literally tomorrow: they simply need to verify the advertiser before taking their money. It would cost. But then again in 2019 the parent company allegedly made $89 Billion profit." He added: "I want to stop pensioners and savers being deceived: we have banned cold calling and brought in protections on pension transfers, but if what you read online is too good to be true it probably is. Please be very careful." The Pensions Scams Industry Group estimates that 40,000 people have been defrauded of £10bn since 2015. Google says it has been working closely with watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority for over a year, identifying new measures to tackle the issue. The firm says it has begun to verify the identity of all advertisers on its platforms. Advertisers will need to submit personal legal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are and the country they operate in.
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