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UK to hold tech firms accountable for fraud on their platforms, lessons for Ghana

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UK to hold tech firms accountable for fraud on their platforms, lessons for Ghana

Eleven Big Tech firms and social media platforms have signed up to a UK Online Fraud Charter to combat rising levels of scams from fake adverts and romance fraud.

UK banks have long been campaigning for social media firms to take more responsibility for fraud that originates from their platforms.

Under the new Charter the companies, which include Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Match Group, Microsoft, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube, have pledged to verify new advertisers and “promptly” remove any fraudulent content.

There will also be increased levels of verification on peer-to-peer marketplaces and people using online dating services.

While the initiative has been billed as a major breakthrough in cracking down on fraud, many in the banking industry players remain unimpressed. Barclays, for example, says the the Government should make the prevention of scams mandatory, particularly for tech companies, and that they should be financially liable for fraud that starts on their platforms.

Barclays data reveal that four in every five scams it encounters originate on tech platforms, including social media, online marketplaces, and dating apps.

Others have cautiously welcomed the initiative as a step in the right direction.

“We’ve campaigned for years for tech companies to do far more to prevent the fraud that’s become rife on social media platforms,” said Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB. “Now we have the Charter, it’s down to all signatories to match their commitment with meaningful concerted action – putting the right protections in place to reduce fraud and take responsibility to protect millions of consumers on their platforms.”

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Banking Group, comments: “This action is vital given 80 per cent of scams start online and we look forward to seeing tech firms move with seriousness and pace to address the fraud their users are falling victim to, with the government holding them to account.”

Ghana

In Ghana, there are several scammers on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and many others. But the biggest forms of digital fraud happen within the digital finance space.

The main platform for fraudsters are the mobile money platforms. Some also use the telcos’ platforms as a conduit to launch an attack on bank accounts. Indeed, there are some fraudsters on some Fintech platforms as well.

Last year alone, Ghana recorded over GHS582 million worth of fraud within the banking and digital finance space.

Like the UK government has done, Techfocus24 has proposed to the digital finance and banking industry regulator, Bank of Ghana to hold banks, Fintechs and mobile money operators totally responsible for every fraud that originates from their platforms.

Ghana is on a digitalization agenda designed to drive everyone into the financial sector via digitalization. Due to general lack of digital skills among the deprived population, they tend to be vulnerable to fraudsters. But when it happens, the banks, telcos and Fintechs often want to distant themselves from it.

But to keep the digital transformation agenda wheel running, there is a need for the regulator to ensure that when fraud happens, victims are fully refunded, even if they are found to be fallen victim due to their own gullibility.

Source: techfocus24

Jeorge Wilson Kingson is the Managing Editor of ArtCraft Media Consult (Publishers of GhanaNewsOnline.com.gh and BusinessweekGhana.com), and a consulting Editor for The Corporate Guardian Magazine. He is the Chairman of the Media Alliance in Tobacco Control and Health (MATCOH). He is also the National Coordinator for the International Standards Journalism Association (ISJA) and the National Online Newsportals Coordinator for the Private Newspaper and Online Newsportals Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG). He is a senior member of Ghana's Parliamentary Press Corps. He is the ACS Global Cancer Ambassador for Ghana and a Peace Advocate

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