FCA scans 100,000 websites per day to identify scams
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is using data to tackle online fraud faster by scanning approximately 100,000 websites created every day to identify those that appear to be scams.
Where the FCA identifies fraudulent websites, it is proactive in requesting the website host shut them down, though it does not have the powers to force them to. Between May 2021 and April 2022, the FCA added 1,966 possible scams to its consumer warning list – over a third more than during the same period the previous year.
This action forms part of an update on the FCA’s data strategy showing the progress it has made improving its use of data and its plans to identify and prevent harm sooner.
As part of the strategy, the FCA plans to invest heavily in its use of data in 2022/23, recruiting a significant number of skilled roles, across Artificial Intelligence, analytics and data science as well as cloud engineering and digital technology, adding to the 100 it has recruited since 2020. The additional recruits will be responsible for a range of data and digital initiatives, including improving the quality of the data the FCA collects.
The FCA is using advanced analytics and new sources of data to identify inappropriate financial adverts. Last year 564 adverts were withdrawn or amended, double the number compared to previous years.
The regulator says ut will provide its staff with a dashboard for all the financial companies it regulates and sectors it oversees. This will make it easier to identify and focus on the highest risk cases.
The data strategy underpins the FCA’s recent three-year strategy to reduce and prevent serious harm, set higher standards and promote competition.