A new tool offering support and guidance to people who have been the victim of an online scam will begin appearing on Twitter on Tuesday.
Backed by Citizens Advice and to mark Scams Awareness Fortnight, the new prompt will tell users “help is available” and provide links to advice on dealing with scams and fraud.
The tool will appear at the top of search results when someone searches the social media platform for information on the subject of online scams and will direct them to the Citizens Advice website and its Online Scams Helper.
The Twitter prompt has previously been used to direct people to credible information about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccinations.
This latest use of the tool comes amid a rise in online scams and fraud, Citizens Advice reporting that more than 30 million people have encountered some form of scam so far in 2021.
“Opportunistic scammers can prey on even the savviest internet users,” Citizens Advice head of product, Kylie Havelock said.
“Our latest research shows that since the start of the year 36 million of us have been targeted.
“We know all too well the suffering scams can cause – from lost life savings to relationship fallouts and worse.
“The increase in online scams since the pandemic began shows just how needed greater consumer protection and online safety measures are in a rapidly evolving digital world. This new tool will provide Twitter users with clear and credible advice to help them take action against scams.”
Twitter’s head of public policy in the UK, Katy Minshall, said the platform wanted to help more users easily access accurate information.
“We understand the stress that being the victim of a scam can bring onto people’s lives, no more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
“Our focus continues to be helping people find accurate information on Twitter and feel informed about the way in which to report potential scams.
“We’re happy to work with Citizens Advice to help surface credible information and advice about scams to those on Twitter, further developing our work and partnerships in this space.”