You may have seen the TV advert addressing pension scams. The figures make stark reading, with the average amount lost being £91,0001.
The government had planned to introduce a ban on cold-calling, one of the most frequent ways in which scammers contact their victims, but this is now unlikely to come into effect until next year. Many of the scams that are currently in operation start with an unexpected phone call, email, text or social media approach.
April 2015 saw the introduction of changes to the pension regulations that gave people greater freedom to access money held in their pension funds. Since then, fraudsters have been attempting to separate people from their hard-earned pension savings, and the losses reported have risen alarmingly.
In the light of the recent rise in scams, City regulators are redoubling their efforts to warn people in their 40s, 50s and 60s of the tell-tale signs that they are being conned, and alert them to the risk of pension fraud.
Fraudsters invariably put forward what on the face of it are convincing stories. However, beneath all the smooth sales talk, many of the scams turn out to promise unfeasibly high levels of return, or offer novel investment opportunities that are unauthorised or simply don’t exist.
– Reject unexpected pension offers whether made on social media, online, or over the phone.
– Check out anybody you intend to deal with on the Financial Conduct Authority register. Here you’ll be able to see if they are authorised.
– Don’t be put under pressure; making victims feel they must act swiftly is all part of the scam.
***Seek financial advice before taking any action involving your pension***