FCA joins Nominet pilot to fight financial scams
Nominet, in collaboration with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is implementing law enforcement landing pages for criminal domains. The pilot will see web users redirected to a secure site with educational information following domain names being used for criminal activity.
The pilot aims to improve transparency, prevent harm, and educate the general public to interact safely online. Under the current system web users would usually see an error message when a domain is suspended for criminal activity.
The FCA collaboration will see web users redirected to information on how to protect themselves from financial scams. This is particularly important in the financial sector as victims are often targeted repeatedly by criminals. The FCA estimate this could save the UK public millions of pounds.
While suspensions for the most serious organised crime are rare in .UK – only three suspensions between 1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020 – the consequences can be particularly harmful. The National Crime Agency will also have the functionality to redirect web users to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.
On conclusion of the pilot Nominet will assess the impact and report publicly on the next steps.
Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry & Public Benefit at Nominet says:
“Our landing page initiative is just one example of how we go above and beyond to make .UK the safest place in the world to be online.
“In addition to clarifying why the domain has been suspended, these bespoke pages will direct the public to official government resources designed to help them buy medicines safely, avoid financial scams, and report fraud.
“These pages are designed to give vital information and support to the UK public at a time when they need it most while still disrupting criminal activity.”
Mark Steward, FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight commented:
“We are pleased to join Nominet’s landing page pilot which will provide education and resources to the most impacted consumers when a .UK domain is being used criminally. Redirecting domains to our ScamSmart landing page will be a key tool used by the FCA to disrupt scammers and protect consumers.
“ScamSmart provides advice and guidance on how to spot a scam and clones of FCA regulated firms. Joining this pilot builds upon our strong collaborative relationship with Nominet tackling online harms which last year led to 232 .uk domains being suspended.”