Aviva is calling for greater consumer protection from online financial fraud by urging government to include financial scams promoted by paid-for adverts in the scope of the Online Safety Bill. The call comes as Aviva’s research shows a correlation between having debt and falling victim to fraud.

The Aviva Fraud Report1 – which was published in August and investigates fraud and financial scams relating to pensions, savings, investments and insurance – found one in eight people (13%) have been the victim of a financial scam which related to coronavirus. Of those, two-thirds (66%) said their total debts increased over the last year.

Almost half (46%) of all scam victims said it negatively affected their mental health, their trust in others (45%) and their confidence in the financial services system (37%).

Nearly a quarter (23%) of all those surveyed said their total amount of debt had increased over the past year, rising to one-third (32%) of 16–24 year olds. Two-thirds (66%) said saving money on household bills has increased in priority since the pandemic began.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the Covid-19 pandemic has left over a quarter of UK adults with low financial resilience2

Paul Pisano, UK Financial Crime Director at Aviva, said: “While overall savings went up during the pandemic3 there are still many people with debt or who have erratic income who are susceptible to fraud. Fraudsters understand that those with…

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