The UK is set to launch an Online Fraud Charter in a pioneering effort to combat scams, fake advertisements, and romance fraud. Home Secretary James Cleverly will host a signing ceremony on Thursday, with representatives from major tech companies including Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube in attendance.
Other firms joining the voluntary agreement include Amazon, eBay, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Match Group, and Microsoft.
The charter will urge these companies to implement measures that enhance user protection, such as verifying new advertisers and promptly removing fraudulent content. It will also require increased verification for peer-to-peer marketplaces and online dating platforms. These measures are expected to be implemented within six months.
Additionally, the crackdown on illegal advertisements and promotions for age-restricted products targeting children will support the charter. The Online Advertising Taskforce will publish an action plan detailing these steps.
Mr. Cleverly, who will announce the charter at Lancaster House, stated, “The Online Fraud Charter is a significant step forward in our efforts to safeguard the public from sophisticated, adaptable, and highly organized criminals. This agreement, unprecedented in scale, demonstrates the collaboration between tech firms and the government to combat fraudsters. Our work does not end here – we will continue to collaborate across government, law enforcement, and the private sector to ensure better protection against fraud for all UK residents.”
Each tech company will pledge to collaborate closely with law enforcement, including providing direct channels to report suspicious activities. The UK government highlighted that fraud accounts for 40% of all crimes in England and Wales, with UK Finance data indicating that nearly 80% of authorized pushed payment fraud originates from social media or fake websites.
Cybersecurity experts have expressed concerns about the rise of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, which aid cybercriminals in creating more sophisticated and convincing scams. As ChatGPT celebrates its one-year anniversary, experts warn that bad actors are leveraging this technology online.
Experts also caution that generative AI tools for text and image creation are facilitating the creation of convincing scams. However, AI is also being employed to bolster cyber defenses. At the recent UK AI Safety Summit, leaders recognized the threat of AI-powered sophisticated cyber attacks and pledged to work together to address the issue. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has identified AI-generated disinformation as a significant future threat, particularly during elections.