Furious Martin Lewis lashes out at government over scams amid pandemic

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Martin Lewis has furiously taken aim at the government over the amount of people losing money to scams amid the pandemic, claiming they’re not being ‘taken seriously.’

Reflecting on the ‘epidemic’ of scams, he insisted that more needs to be done about them.

‘We have had an absolute epidemic of scams in the UK and it is a major problem,’ Martin told Lorraine Kelly.

‘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,’ he added.

The money-saving expert urged anyone who has fallen victim to scams to call Action Fraud, but admitted: ‘I’ll be honest with you Lorraine, very little will happen if you do that. That organisation is monumentally underfunded.’

‘Fraud is the biggest crime in the UK, these are thieves stealing people’s money,’ Martin pointed out, adding that it’s ‘very easy’ to fall for sophisticated scams.

‘We don’t police it well enough,’ he insisted. ‘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,’ the 49-year-old asserted, clarifying to Lorraine: ‘That’s to the politicians, not to you!’

The Online Safety Bill is described as ‘establishing a new regulatory framework to tackle harmful content online.’

Financial experts have said that the bill’s focus on user-generated content has left a loophole for criminals.

Martin previously said of the issue: ‘We live in a world where the policing of scams is dangerously underfunded, leaving criminals to get away with fraud with impunity.’

He added that, by not making tech companies responsible for the scammers’ adverts they are paid to publish, ‘the government has failed to protect millions, in the midst of a pandemic, from one of the most damaging online harms to their financial and mental health.’

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Martin has been giving his best money-saving tips to the public amid the pandemic, most recently advising on how you can protect holiday bookings.

The first tip was the most obvious – that customers should make sure they’re well covered with travel insurance. 

The financial expert stressed that the majority of policies will cover customers if they catch Covid before they go abroad, meaning they’re no longer able to travel.

The second tip was to try and ensure that the booking is as flexible as it possibly can be. Martin also suggested that package holidays offered ‘strong protection’. 

Finally, Martin urged people to ‘pay on plastic’ and book via credit card to ensure Section 75 protection, which means the card company is jointly liable for payments between £100.01- £30,000.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV. Martin Lewis’ Extreme Savers returns tonight at 8pm on ITV.

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