Electronic Government: Fraud

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 26 July 2019.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to tackle third party websites from posing as Government entities.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Paymaster General (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Government organisations work collaboratively to address misleading websites. Websites that directly attempt to defraud users (for example, by copying government design and logos) are tackled directly and taken down.

Sites can be challenged through the company that sold them the web address, or through organisations that administer the web address system. Government may also pursue site owners through trading standards bodies or through direct legal challenge.

Some sites are able to operate within legal boundaries (for example, by displaying disclaimers on their sites). In these cases, government works to optimise government sites for indexing by search engines so they are easy to find. Where identified, we challenge sites that pay for prominent positioning in search returns by reporting them to the search provider.

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