Pension scamming is a sophisticated crime that can be difficult to spot. Pension scammers generally appear to be highly knowledgeable and usually come armed with materials and information that appears to be entirely credible. The result is often that an unsuspecting victim puts their trust and their pension pot into the wrong hands, sometimes with devastating effect.
While it is extremely easy to be duped by these criminals, it is often possible to identify scammers by some tell-tale features. The purpose of this blog is to help raise awareness and to share guidance on key factors you should know on how to be scam-smart when discussing your pension.
The following are the key scam tactics you should be aware of when discussing your pension pot with external sources:
- You are contacted out of the blue
- Pension scammers are likely to get in contact with you randomly, so you may be called out of the blue. If this happens to you, always take note of the firm’s name and telephone number and take time to research them fully. Do not give them any of your details that they may ask
- They promise high and guaranteed returns –
- Anyone would be tempted by the promise of high and guaranteed returns on investments, which is why this is often a feature of pension scams. Remember returns are not guaranteed. Ensure to, and no reputable provider would make that promise. Make sure you take professional advice on before committing to any transfer. A professional at your pension administrator will provide you in depth guidance on the funds best suited to you and the returns they may expect to offer.
- There’s pressure to act quickly –
- Pension scammers will often force you to decide on the spot. You should never be required to decide immediately and any decisions regarding your pension should be considered carefully and with correct information at hand. Do your research or seek professional advice from your pension administrator before coming to any final conclusions on your pension pot.
There are 4 simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your pension from scammers.
Always reject unexpected offers
If you are randomly contacted about your pension, there is a high chance that this might be a scam. Beware of any free advice or reviews being offered from an unknown company. Don’t let yourself be one of the small 5% that accept a pension scam offer.
Know who you are talking to
Take time to research and know who you are talking to. First, use the Financial Services Register (www.register.fca.org.uk) to complete your verifications before continuing with any decisions.
Take your time and don’t rush
A certified professional will never require you to rush and make your choice then and there. Resist persuasive arguments and promises to force you into a life changing decision you may regret.
Obtain information and advice
Financial advisors work in your best interest to ensure the correct decision is made for you and your lifetime. However, make sure you research and invest in a regulated advisor.
Should you suspect a scam, report it. Get in contact with the Financial Conduct Authority or Action Fraud (links below) and let’s help to stop scammers together.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – 0800 111 6768 or report online at fca.or.uk
- Action Fraud – 0300 123 2040 or report online at actionfraud.police.uk