- Over half of internet users (53%) don’t believe search engine ads are placed by a legitimate company or financial service provider
- And more than half (56%) don’t believe search engines verify the authenticity of the product, service or financial provider they allow to advertise on their platform.
- Almost nine in ten (87%) think government should legislate to ensure search engines and social media sites don’t mislead consumers or promote financial scams
- Aviva calls on government to include financial scams promoted by paid ads within the scope of the online security bill
Aviva calls for greater protection of consumers from online financial fraud by urging the government to include financial scams promoted by paid ads within the scope of the online security bill.
The Aviva Fraud Report – which launched today and investigates fraud and financial scams related to pensions, savings, investments and insurance ?? discovered that consumers have little confidence in the Internet as a tool for purchasing financial services1.
More than half of internet users (53%) don’t believe search engine ads are placed by a legitimate company or financial services provider. And more than half (56%) don’t believe search engines verify the authenticity of the product, service or financial provider they allow to advertise on their platform.
Among these, there is a significant difference in confidence by age. Those over 55 were much less likely to trust search engine results than those aged 16 ?? 24; only 29% of those over 55 against 59% of those aged 16 to 24.
Rob Lee, Director of Fraud Prevention at Aviva, said: ??There is a clear distrust of online financial service advertisements. However, tech companies have no legal responsibility to verify the legitimacy of companies that pay them to post ads on their platforms. This potentially leaves millions of internet users exposed to unscrupulous ads.
Consumers believe that more needs to be done to protect them from financial harm online. Almost nine in ten respondents (87%) think the government should legislate to ensure that search engines and social media sites don’t mislead consumers or promote financial scams. And 85% of people believe that search engines should be responsible for the advertising content on their platforms so that it is not misleading.
Rob continued: We believe that the Online Security Bill provides an opportunity to protect consumers of financial services 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 are supporting the financial services industry by calling for legislation to include financial scams promoted by paid advertising. ??
The Covid has accelerated the need to act
The lockdown transformed spending habits in the UK and accelerated internet adoption, with half (50%) of people saying they used the internet more ?? either significantly or slightly – to research products and services in the past year.
While the types of financial scams are generally the same as before the pandemic, the coronavirus has been used as a hook to lure victims. Being locked out means more people are using the Internet to research and purchase financial products and services.
We believe the Online Security Bill provides an opportunity to protect consumers of financial services at every stage of their online journey.
Rob said: ?? The challenges posed by the foreclosure conditions have changed the minds of millions of people, opening the door for more people to purchase financial products and services online. While this provides opportunities to make it easier to buy products, it also opens the door for scammers looking to prey on vulnerable people.
The government must act quickly to protect more consumers from online fraud.
The scale of fraud has accelerated with the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a deluge of opportunities for fraudsters over the past year. Aviva research found that two in five people (42%) have been targeted with a covid scam. This is a 91% increase over last year in the number of people who reported receiving emails, texts, phone calls and other communications mentioning the coronavirus, and who were suspected of being a financial scam.
Rob said: ??It is clear that we are a long way from the government’s commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. Today’s online environment, combined with tough economic conditions and increased financial pressure on consumers, creates the perfect storm for fraudsters to exploit the most vulnerable. The government must act quickly to protect more consumers from online fraud, by ensuring that financial scams are included in the online safety bill.
Click here to download the latest Aviva fraud report.
1 All figures, unless otherwise noted, are from Aviva research, conducted by Censuswide with a sample of 2005 nationally representative respondents, between June 30 and July 5, 2021. Categorize pandemic period between March 1 2020 and July 5, 2021, and the classified pre-pandemic period between January 1, 2019 and February 28, 2020. Censuswide respects and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
- For more information on how Aviva is helping our employees, customers and communities affected by COVID-19, visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
- We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We’ve been caring for people for over 320 years, in line with our goal of being “with you today, for a better tomorrow?”. In 2020, we paid £ 30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is committed to our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our intention to become a net zero carbon company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means net zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; chart a clear path to achieve this with a 25% reduction in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and 60% by 2030; and Zero net carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first global insurer to become operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are the champions of renewable energies and energy storage in our offices. , allowing us to reach our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction from 2010 levels) 10 years in advance. Discover our climate objectives at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our ambition for sustainable development at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
- Aviva is an employer whose salary and life hours are essential and provides leading benefits to our employees, including flexible working, paid leave for caregivers and equal parental leave. Learn more at www.aviva.com/social-purpose
- We focus on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be supported by prudent management of our balance sheet, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
- As of June 30, 2021, the Aviva Group’s total assets under management were £ 522 billion and our Solvency II capital surplus was £ 12 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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