Facebook funds charity to combat online scams

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Huge sum awarded to charity after legal challenge was dropped 

16th July 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Consumer charity Citizens Advice has launched a service to help people who have been scammed online – funded by Facebook.

The charity was given £3m after Martin Lewis, founder of the MoneySavingExpert website, sued over his name and photo being used on fake Facebook adverts.

Lewis took the legal action against Facebook after a series of ads ran with his face and name, claiming he backed questionable investment schemes.

He dropped the action in return for a sizeable donation by Facebook.  

A telephone helpline has now been set up by Citizens Advice for any type of online scam. In serious cases face-to-face meetings will be arranged where someone falls into debt or mortgage arrears, for example.

It expects to help 20,000 people in the first year of the new service.

Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland’s chief executive, said: “This new service is a terrific boost to the work we are already doing to raise awareness of scams in Scotland. 

“Our message has always been the more people are talking about scams, the better armed we are against them. Now people in Scotland can get dedicated help about online scams.

“A scam is a crime, and should be treated as such. With this excellent new help we can amplify that message and help the fightback against those who would defraud people in Scotland of their hard-earned money.

“The Scottish CAB network helps hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland every year, and we want people to know that if they need support they can come to us.”

And inside Facebook a new tool has been developed to report fake adverts.

Facebook users in the UK should can click three dots in the top corner of every advert to see an option to "send a detailed scam report" to report a misleading advert.