Julian has raised concerns in Parliament about the number of websites that mislead people into thinking they are official Government sites.
A number of constituents have contacted the MP with concerns that search engines are showing the websites that charge additional fees for services above Government ones and that these websites look like official ones as they use similar colours and keywords
Julian is calling on Ministers to address the issue and, in response to a Parliamentary Question, Cabinet Office Minister Nick Hurd said:
“We take the issue of misleading websites very seriously. Most people encounter them though advertisements on search result pages, so we are working with Google to help them identify and remove those adverts. We have also made more money available to support the National Trading Standards Board to investigate this issue.”
Julian Smith added:
“This is an important issue which needs addressing as more and more Government services move online. No-one should be mislead into thinking they are dealing with official websites when they are actually visiting third party websites, some of whom charge additional fees. We should do all we can to ensure these websites do not appear above the official pages in search engines.”