Media Smart puts scam ads in the spotlight

Media Smart puts scam ads in the spotlight

Media Smart, the non-profit organisation working to improve media literacy among young people, is supporting the government’s Stop! Think Fraud initiative with a national campaign raising awareness of scam advertising.

The “Scam Flags Add Up to a Scam” campaign helps 13- to 18-year-olds identify, avoid and report potential scams via reporting hub Action Fraud and the Advertising Standards Authority.

Activity will cover cryptocurrency, online shopping deals, unauthorised access to webcams, fake scholarships and spoofing through a series of animated online films.

Rachel Barber-Mack, executive director at Media Smart, which has been part of the Advertising Association since 2023, said: “This is a vitally important initiative and we are pleased to be supporting the UK government’s national campaign against fraud to drive awareness of scam ads to keep young people safe and empowered online.

“There is a shared responsibility for all of us in the media and advertising industry to invest in media literacy — it will reap dividends from an educational perspective as well as building public trust.”

The resources will be available for teachers and parents to use in the classroom and at home, and there will be a dedicated information hub on Media Smart’s website.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat called fraud “the most prevalent crime in the UK” and acknowledged it was “a sad reality” that young people are targeted.

Research from Action Fraud in 2022 found more than 1,000 children and teenagers in the UK were scammed every month, while suspicious advertising was also highlighted as “a significant driver of distrust” in the industry.

Media Smart’s educational work reached 845,000 young people last year.

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