Martin Lewis takes aim at government for millions losing money to pandemic scams

Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis takes aim at government for millions losing money to pandemic scams

Money expert Martin Lewis has lashed out at the government over the amount of people losing money to scams during the Covid-19 pandemic, claiming that the victims are not being “taken seriously”.

Appearing on Lorraine Kelly yesterday, Martin said that the “epidemic” of scams taking place across the UK is “a major problem”.

He said: “I am getting to the end of my tether on this. People know I’ve been involved in fighting this for about four or five years. Another report came out the other day – the worst compliment I’ve ever had – that my face alongside Richard Branson is the most used by scammers in the UK on scam adverts.”

Martin urged anyone who has been targeted by and fallen victim to scammers to report the offence to Action Fraud – although he said that “very little will happen” when people do because the organisation is “monumentally underfunded”.

Recent scams to target North East Lincolnshire residents include cold callers turning up uninvited to convince homeowners that work needs to be done on their house.

Text messages claiming to be from Royal Mail and Hermes requesting money have also targeted locals in recent months.

Martin added: “Fraud is the biggest crime in the UK, these are thieves stealing people’s money. We don’t police it well enough. We’ve got the Online Safety Bill going through parliament, and yet the government has for some reason excluded scam adverts from it.

“It is about time that we took the epidemic of scams in this country a bit more seriously.”

He told Lorraine: “That’s to the politicians, not to you!”

The Online Safety Bill was created to establish “a new regulatory framework to tackle harmful content online”.

Several financial experts have called out the bill, claiming that its focus on user-generated content has left a “loophole” for scammers and other criminals.

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