According to the Pensions Regulator, over £30,857,329 pension savings were lost to fraud since 2017. It has become even more prevalent, as the pandemic has seen many people struggling financially, leaving them vulnerable to pension fraudsters out to steal their pension savings.
Swindlers masquerading as unauthorised pension advisers are targeting people with lucrative, time-sensitive offers, in a bid to con them into signing over their savings.
Scams typically start with an unsolicited call, email or text, inviting their targets to a free pension review. Victims are then seduced with offers of high return investments. Often they are exciting opportunities to invest in glamourous projects. The proposals are usually time-limited, requiring a quick turnaround.
The Pensions Regulator advises people to take these simple steps to avoid falling victim to pension fraud:
1. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is
Often scammers contact their targets out of the blue, offering free pension reviews. You should always research into the company further, by looking at their website, is it well designed? Do they have an office? Do the phone numbers match up, can you find any history on the company? Do the people speaking to you actually exist? Social media is a good place to check, certainly a website like LinkedIn.
2. Are they FCA registered?
Check that the company calling you is FCA authorised. Check the Financial Services Register https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ or call the customer helpline on 0800 1116768.
3. Be Wary of Time Limited Offers
Scammers often use time limits to hurry victims into signing hasty deals without giving any opportunity to do any due diligence.
4. Get the Correct Advice
You should always seek advice from an FCA regulated Independent Financial Adviser. Never take investment advice from the company that contacted you unless you are certain that they are legitimate. Often pension fraud victims are ignorant of their pension savings, making them particularly vulnerable to scammers.
Con artists are quite often softly-spoken salespeople who are experts at pulling on victims heartstrings and leading them into a false sense of security. In the current climate, It is even more important to be vigilant to scammers. Always take professional advice from an independent financial adviser before making any decisions concerning your pension savings.”
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute as advice or recommendations. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All content is based on our understanding of current legislation which is subject to change.