Websites carrying anti-scam messaging could be fraudsters in disguise
05 September 2017
Rogue pension websites are carrying anti-scam messages to try to trick consumers into believing that they are legitimate businesses, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has warned.
The message comes as TPR welcomes new measures to ban pension cold calling that will help prevent potential victims from being stripped of their savings by fraudsters.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that it will bring in legislation for a cold calling ban, tighter rules to prevent the opening of fraudulent pension schemes and restrictions to prevent transfers into scam schemes.
TPR remains concerned about the opportunity for scam websites to claim fresh victims by targeting the vulnerable or those with limited pensions knowledge.
The multi-agency Project Bloom taskforce – led by TPR and including the DWP, HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, City of London Police, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, The Pensions Advisory Service, and the National Crime Agency – was set up to tackle pension scams.
A number of suspected scam websites have been referred to TPR over the suspicion that they are being dressed up as legitimate investment vehicles – including carrying the Bloom campaign’s anti-scam material without TPR’s consent.
Some even imply they are regulated by carrying warning messages designed to prevent people falling victim to scams, such as making reference to the tax implications over accessing your pension before the age of 55 and the danger of cold callers.
Where TPR finds such websites, it will demand they immediately cease using material that TPR owns and will investigate with other agencies whether further action, such as legal proceedings, should be launched.
TPR is also updating its website to spell out even more clearly that just because websites talk about scams, this does not mean they are not scam vehicles themselves.
Anyone considering transferring their pension from their current provider should first visit pension-scams.com. Here you can read tips on how to make sure you are not putting your financial future at risk by transferring your funds to a risky investment or scam.