Consumers have demanded more checks are made on online adverts amid a surge in scams.

More than half of internet users do not trust that the adverts they see on search engines are placed there by legitimate companies, according to a report by insurer Aviva.

The warning comes amid an onslaught of fake investments adverts, scam text messages, calls from fraudsters and other attempted thefts. The report found 87pc of users wanted the Government to force social media firms and search engines to ban the promotion of scams and phoney ads.

Rob Lee of Aviva said: “There is a clear mistrust of financial services adverts online. However, there is no legal responsibility for technology firms to verify the legitimacy of the companies which pay them to publish adverts on their platforms.

“This potentially leaves millions of internet users exposed to unscrupulous adverts.”

Organisations including consumer group Which?, industry lobby groups UK Finance and the…

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