Misleading websites that try and palm themselves off as legitimate government services are to come under the spotlight from Trading Standards as Consumer Minister Jenny Willott confirmed extra funding for them to help tackle these rogue traders.
The Minister has committed an additional £120,000 this financial year to National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) so they can investigate these websites. This money will help NTSB also tackle websites that exaggerate the nature of the services they provide or deliberately underplay that people can get them for free or at a lower cost from official sources.
The extra funding for NTSB will mean that they are better equipped to identify, investigate and take enforcement action against any misleading websites that pass themselves off as official government services.
Consumer Minister Jenny Willott said: “Misleading websites which dupe people into believing they are using the official government channel need to be stopped in their tracks. The unfortunate reality is that a minority are exploiting those who are perhaps less web-savvy and we need to clamp down on them. These rogues that con people out of their hard earned cash need to know that the full glare of Trading Standards is now on them.”
The government continues to work with organisations such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Which? and major search engines like Google to raise awareness of the threat posed by such websites.