Google will later next month restrict its advertising product availability for bogus debt companies in a move welcomed by Trust Deed Scotland®.
Any debt advice firm wishing to advertise on Google will be forced to provide official FCA accreditation before being allowed to advertise on Google.
Amanda Hendry of Trust Deed Scotland® advised “We’ve been aware of a number of firms operating, passing themselves off as the official Trust Deed Scotland® for a number of years now. Remarkably, these ‘lead generation companies’ can come as far away as India, the Philippines and more commonly from call-centres based in England.
Not only does this cause uncertainty in the market but it also opens up consumers to receiving advice below a standard that we here at the official Trust Deed Scotland® pride ourselves upon.
We have heavily invested in our own compliance and call recording technology and regularly commit our advisors to regular training sessions.”
Trust Deed Scotland® have been helped over 16,000 people in Scotland become debt free. The Glasgow-based organisation who have operated for over a decade were the first FCA regulated debt advice company in Scotland.
A growing concern
There have been over 83 instances of fraudulent impersonator websites reported for advertising on the platform in 2019 as a debt charity, an increase from 46 the previous year. A staggering 80% increase.
Trust Deed Scotland® added “People who need financial advice are often vulnerable and susceptible to calls and online offers from individuals offering ‘government approved solutions.’ This in fact can result in a worsening of their finances as those companies then aim to sell their details onto effectively the highest bidder.”
Matthew Lavine, of Google who is employed as a product policy specialist said of the issue: “This is the culmination of extensive work by our policy teams globally and we have listened to and consulted with debt advice charities and other organisations whose users will benefit from this policy.”
Likewise, there has been an increased number of ‘spoofed’ numbers in the industry. This is the practice of rogue companies changing caller ID screens using VoIP technology from abroad to mimic the telephone numbers of known debt companies such as Trust Deed Scotland® an issue that Ofcom are working with international regulators to find solutions for alongside The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which helps to develop standards on the internet. Together they have created a group designated to solving this problem.
If you ever receive a call from a company pertaining to be from Trust Deed Scotland®, remember that the official Trust Deed Scotland® will never buy your data from a third party, nor pass your data onto any other 3rd party. You will never receive a cold call from Trust Deed Scotland®. If in doubt, hang-up and contact the official Trust Deed Scotland® on 0141 221 0999.