Businesses should do more to prevent online fraud, says consumer group

Businesses should do more to prevent online fraud, says consumer group

Consumer group Which? has called for businesses to take more responsibility in protecting customers against online fraud and scams.

In a survey of 2,066 UK adults, Which? found that around six in ten people said they've been targeted by online scams in the past 12 months, and a clear majority believed that businesses should do more to prevent internet fraud.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘When we know that even the savviest people can be scammed by fraudsters, it's vital that everything possible is done by businesses to better protect consumers. And where firms haven't done enough to protect their customers, it's entirely right that the responsibility to put things right should be with them.’

In February, Home Secretary Theresa May established the Joint Fraud Taskforce to investigate fraud in the financial system, but Which? argues that its scope should be widened to:

  • examine whether businesses are taking enough responsibility when their customers are defrauded
  • investigate what improvements should be made to the processes they use to prevent fraud
  • recommend, by the end of 2016, how businesses can better protect their customers from fraud.

Richard Lloyd added: ‘The Government’s taskforce must not let businesses off the hook, more must be done to prevent fraud and protect consumers’.

According to the survey, the three most common online scams reported by consumers were: phishing emails purporting to be from a bank or payment service (49%); phishing messages seeking money for services or help - for example, a friend stuck abroad (26%); and bogus computer support (25%).