FCA to crack down on online scams

The UK’s financial regulator is “upping its game” against online fraud and scams.

Alongside its ongoing reactive work, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has increased its proactive monitoring of the internet with a dragnet approach to capture suspicious advertising on the same day or 24 hours after it first appears.

But the watchdog said that while it has a substantial role to play in preventing harm to consumers, firms in the industry should also be doing more to prevent harms.

It warned that regulated businesses who “let down their guard,” especially in assisting firms on its Warning List, could face action.

“Scams and frauds are an economic scourge, they are a threat to the legitimate financial services industry because their existence undermines the societal trust that is necessary for markets to work well,” said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement of market oversight at the FCA Investigations & Enforcement Summit.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, social media companies must now comply with a law that prohibits the communication of invitations or inducements to engage in investment activity by persons other than those issued or approved by FCA authorised firms.

The authority said that it has also been engaging with social media firms about the change to the law which requires them, for the first time, to comply with section 21 when providing any value adding services.

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