Pension savers have been frequently targeted by fraudsters, and new research has revealed the extent of the issue. According to UK watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator, savers have lost over £30million since 2017 alone. All sizes of pension pots have been affected by scams, with losses reported to Action Fraud ranging from under £1,000 to a staggering £50,000.
Angie Kirkwood, pensions expert at Scottish Widows commented on the issue of pension scams.
She said: “Fraudsters have no issue with using a global pandemic to trick victims into handing over their life savings and are taking advantage of people’s lack of understanding of pension to scam them into transferring cash.
“They’re ready to disappear as soon as they get their hands on it. Never be rushed into transferring cash, no matter how tempting an investment opportunity may be or any claim that your pension savings could be in danger.
“Your provider will never contact you out of the blue, and ask you to move your money to another account.”
And Peter Janes, Founder and CEO of Shieldpay, the high value payments solution, also expressed concern about scams which seek to target unsuspecting victims.
He said: “People save for 30, 40 or even 50 years to fund retirement but a small error in judgement can see it disappear in a blink of an eye.
“With the economic outlook uncertain, and investments taking a hit, it’s no surprise people are looking for ways to make their money work harder.
“But attention grabbing investment returns are almost always too good to be true, and savers must be on the lookout for scams.”
Mr Janes has expressed satisfaction with the regulator stepping up efforts to combat pension fraud, but has also stated more could be done.
He concluded: “The wider adoption of sophisticated anti-fraud technology is one way people can reduce the risk.
“It can hold money securely while extensive background checks are made, both parties in the transaction are fully verified, and will only then release the funds.”
Britons who believe they may have seen or indeed fallen victim to a pension scam are encouraged to report the issue right away.
Individuals can call Action Fraud on their dedicated hotline, or use their online reporting tool.
And if contacted out of the blue about pension saving, people should also speak to the Pensions Advisory Service to gain further clarity.
Published at Wed, 26 Aug 2020 18:07:00 +0000