Pension Scams average losses double
According to the latest figures from Action Fraud the average loss from pension scams has reached £50,949 this year. That figure is more than double that of £23, 689, reported last year.
Action Fraud said the losses in each case ranged from less than £1,000 up to £500,000, and the real figures could be higher as many scams go unreported.
Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said: ‘Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much they have saved.’
He recommends that before making any decisions around changes to your pension, you check the firm’s status by visiting the FCA register.
By doing so, you can ensure you only use a firm authorised by the FCA to provide advice, and are less likely to fall victim to a scam.
What to look out for…
The FCA highlighted five common scam warning signs:
- Being offered a free pension review out of the blue
- Being offered guaranteed higher returns
- Being offered help to release cash from your pension, even though you are under 55
- High-pressure sales tactics – scammers may try to pressure you with ‘time-limited offers’ or send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents
- Unusual investments which tend to be unregulated and high-risk.
If you’re unsure who to speak to regarding your pension, please get in touch. We have a range of contacts in the industry and can let you have contacts details for them if it would be helpful. We aren’t allowed to make specific recommendations, but only pass on details of people we have known and trusted for many years!
More information on how to avoid pension scams is available from the FCA at https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams
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