Partner Bambos Tsiattalou comments in relation to lawyers saying that Google profiting from crime and scam victims may have a claim, in The Telegraph.

 

Bambos’ comments were published in The Telegraph, 23 February 2020, and can be found here. Bambos’ comments were also published in The Mirror: Sunday People, 1 March 2020, and can be found on page 11.

“Victims who have lost out to scammers promoted high up in Google search results may have a legal claim against the $1trillion internet giant, lawyers have said.

Google is retaining tens of millions in profits it has made from con artists or rogue investment schemes paying for ads so they appear first when consumers are shopping around for ‘safe’ and ‘protected’ savings and bonds accounts.

So far the internet firm has ignored calls to return the money or dedicate it to tightening its security to prevent further harm.

This could amount to ‘unjust enrichment’ and would allow victims to mount a claim to get some of their money back, according to Bambos Tsiattalou of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, a law firm.

However, taking on the world’s most powerful search engine would not be easy, he added.

‘Much would depend on Google’s state of knowledge. If Google knew the ads were for scams, and yet continued to publish them, then those defrauded may be in a position to take legal action. Otherwise, they would be unlikely to be able to hold Google liable.

‘One difficulty is that internet companies often claim that they are not publishers, legally speaking. They argue that they merely transmit information, and so are no more liable than a phone company when a fraudulent call travels down their wires,’ he said.”

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