3 Tips to Avoid Pension Scams

Posted by David Reed

Although public awareness of financial scams, particularly those involving pensions, is increasing, so is the complexity of the scams themselves, making them even harder to spot. This means that many of us are continuing to fall victim to these fraudulent schemes and are putting our live savings at risk.

In this blog we will cover the three simple steps to avoiding pension scams.

  1. Spotting them

As previously mentioned, pension scams are constantly evolving, and the fraudsters are getting smarter in their methods. However, regardless of how complex the scam is, the tell-tale signs remain the same:

  • Being contacted unexpectedly by phone, text message, email or in person and/ or offering a free pensions review
  • Told they know of legal loopholes, or promise extra tax savings
  • Claiming you can unlock your pension before the age of 55 (as this is only very rarely possible)
  • Promising amazing rates of return with minimal risk
  • Offering to help you trace lost pensions or obtain a pension statement
  • Pressured into making a quick decision
  • Encouraged to take transfer money quickly

If you spot any one of these signs, there’s a good chance it is a scam.

  1. Avoid

Now that you have a good idea of what to keep an eye out for, how do you prevent yourself falling victim to one of these fraudulent schemes? Here are some tips:

  • Reject any unsolicited contact – Legitimate companies will not get in touch without you asking them to. If you are contacted by a company out of the blue, it’s best to hang up.
  • Check the name of the company against the FCA register – If they’re not on the register then they aren’t a legitimate company, which means they should be avoided.
  • If you’re looking into pension schemes, seek reliable advice from an FCA regulated firm.
  1. Report

If you’ve been targeted, or even if you think you have, it’s essential that you report it as soon as possible.

If you’ve already signed something or agreed to transfer some money, you need to contact your pension provider immediately.

To report a potential scam, you can use the FCA reporting form, or if you’ve lost money as a result of a scam, report it to ActionFraud.

Beware of follow-ups

If you have previously fallen victim to a scam, this could increase your risk of being targeted by future scams. For example, you might be contacted by companies trying to take advantage of your misfortune who claim they can get your money back.

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