- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
Which? the well known consumer rights champion held an event in Parliament on Wednesday 20 October 2021 to explain the upcoming Online Safety Bill. Which? welcomed the draft to the Bill but outlined several concerns and recommendations to ensure the Government tackles scams and fraudulent activity online.
To protect users and consumers on online platforms, Which? has called on the Government to designate fraud as priority illegal content and that the Bill must be enforceable by regulators. The recommendations also urge the Government to bring in paid-for advertising within the scope of the Bill to stop criminals from targeting and scamming consumers. Paid-for advertising is one of the main methods used by criminals. Online platforms are profiting from paid-for content that facilitates scammers.
Existing consumer protections must also not be undermined by the Bill so that consumer laws already in place are not prejudiced. Expert groups should be regularly consulted so that consumer protections are meaningful and evidence-based.
The team briefed MPs about the legislation and provided some useful information and contact details to help my constituents about their rights. These are set out below:
To assist consumers with asserting their consumer rights, Which? has a one-stop-shop free to use Consumer Rights site www.which.co.uk/consumerrights. This provides clear information on consumer rights, offering simple solutions to everyday consumer problems.
Scam Alerts Service
Fraudsters are bombarding the UK public with scams, ruthlessly exploiting events like the pandemic to catch us off guard. People are falling victim to scams by email, text, phone calls and social media. Scammers are stealing billions and consumers need to stay alert. The Scam Alert Service is available to sign up to for free at https://campaigns.which.co.uk/scam-alert-service/
Holiday Checker Tool
To assist consumers when booking holidays at this very uncertain time, we have compared holiday providers’ Covid travel cancellation and refund policies so people can check which ones offer the best flexible booking options and which ones could leave them out of pocket if circumstances change. The Holiday Checker Tool can be found at www.which.co.uk/HolidayChecker