Google and Facebook fail to remove scam ads

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Google and Facebook take no action to remove fraudulent online ads, even after fraud victims report them, consumer watchdog Which? found.

An online survey of 2,000 UK adults found that a third (34%) of victims who reported a scam on Google said the ad was not taken down, while a quarter (26%) of Facebook users who reported the scam claimed ownership of the ad. was not deleted by the social media site.

The survey also found low levels of engagement in the scam reporting process. Two in five scam victims (43%) said they did not report the scam to the platform that hosted it.

On Facebook, the main reason for not reporting the issue was that victims doubted anything was done about it – this was the response of almost a third (32%) of victims. While for Google, a third (32%) responded that the main reason for not reporting a scam was that they did not know how to do it.

Another problem identified by the victims Which one? It has been said that even though bogus and scam ads are successfully removed, they often reappear under different names.

A victim said who? that she was, she was tricked into a fake “clearance sale” for the Clarks shoe store, via a Facebook ad. She paid £ 85 for two pairs of boots, but instead received a large box containing a cheap pair of sunglasses.

In response to the results, which one? launched a free scam alert service to alert consumers to the latest tactics used by scammers.

The Consumer Champion has also launched a scam sharing tool to help him gather evidence in his work to protect consumers from fraud. The tool has received over 2,500 reports since it went live three weeks ago.

“There is no doubt that tech giants, regulators and government need to go further to prevent scams from flourishing,” said Adam French. “Online platforms must have a legal responsibility to identify, remove and prevent false and fraudulent content on their sites. The case for including scams in the online safety bill is overwhelming and the government must act now. “



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