Avoiding Pension Scams

Avoiding Pension Scams

Thousands of people are swindled out of their pensions every year, losing more than £30 million to scams. Government proposals to raise the state pension age to 69 by the 2040s will only fuel the industry to be more active. If you are approaching retirement and are concerned that you could be a potential victim of one of these pension scams, this article will highlight the tell-tale signs that you should be on the lookout for.

How a pension scammer might approach you

Most pension scammers will begin with an out of the blue phone call, email, or text message. Some may even reach out via social media, using a friend or family members account and impersonating as them. Scammers are coming up with new ways to gain access to your hard-earned cash every single day. This is why it is vital that you keep up to date with the most recent scam tactics and spot the signs so that you’re always one step ahead.

Signs to look out for

  • High pressure sales tactics such as limited time offers
  • When a firm doesn’t allow you to return a call, or if the only contact details they provide you with is a mobile number or PO box address
  • Guarantees they can get better returns on investment savings for a minimal risk
  • Claims that they can help you release your pension before you reach 55
  • Complicated or unusual investment structures
  • Asking for remote access. Usually by asking you to download software or an app so that they can access your device

How to protect yourself from pension scams

Don’t allow yourself to be rushed into making a decision and always reject any unexpected offers.

It is illegal to cold call somebody to discuss their pension. The sensible thing to do if you receive a cold call regarding your finances is to hang up the phone and ignore any unsolicited offers you might receive by text or email.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t let anybody pressure you into making a decision immediately. Take your time and do your research to check exactly who you are dealing with.

Seek professional advice from a reputable adviser

Make sure that any person or firm you discuss your pensions with are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are authorised to provide pension advice. Check the FCA register of regulated companies before giving out any personal details.

Money Advice Office provides free independent and impartial information and guidance. They also have reputable financial advisers available who can help you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances.

What to do if you think you’re being targeted by pension scammers

If you’re concerned that somebody is trying to scam you, it’s important that you report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the Action Fraud website. You can also report it on the FCA Scam Smart website.

If you’ve already agreed to transfer your pension and think you are now a victim to a pension scam, you should contact your pension provider immediately as they may be able to put a hold on the transfer.

It’s also important to update your details such as passwords, memorable words and pin numbers to prevent your account from future attacks.

Beware of follow up pension scams, especially if you lost money due to a pension scam. Fraudsters may try to take advantage of this and target you again. They might do this by claiming that they can help get some or all of your money back.

Contact us

You can also request contact details from the Pension Tracing Service by phone or by post.

The Pension Tracing Service
Telephone: 0800 1223 170
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 1782 389134
Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

The Pension Tracing Service
The Lantern
High Street
EX34 9QB

Copyright 2020 by Pension Tracing Service ® ​

The Pension Tracing Service ® is a trading style of the Millennial Wealth Ltd. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number 914746. Unit 11Flag Business Exchange Peterborough Cambridgeshire PE1 5TX. The registered company number is 11557299​

This service is not affiliated with the Department of Work and Pensions or any government body. The Pension Tracing Service does not offer financial advice to our clients. However we can allocate you an Authorised and Regulated Pension Specialist.

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