Action Fraud reminds savers to stay alert and to protect their pensions
22 April 2021
Action Fraud is advising those saving for retirement to: #ProtectYourPension, following confirmation that £1.8 million has already been stolen through pension fraud this year.
Data from Action Fraud that spans 2014 to 2020 highlights the fact that pension scams reduced from 1,788 to 358 over that period of time. There has, however, been a sharp increase in reporting so far in 2021. In the first three months of 2021, 107 reports of pension fraud were received, which equates to an increase of nearly 45% when compared to the same period in 2020.
As a result of this, Action Fraud have launched an awareness campaign which explains the importance of carrying out research prior to making any changes to pension arrangements.
Frequently, pension scams purport to offer investment opportunities that look too good to be true, free of charge pension reviews and / or opportunities to help individuals release money from their pension pots, even though they are below the age of 55.
The figures provided are likely to indicate only a fraction of the full scale of pension fraud because, unfortunately, many victims are not aware that they have been scammed until much later, often many years after the fraud has taken place.
Several tips on avoiding pension scams have been provided:
- Unexpected pension opportunities should be rejected, which include free pension reviews or investment opportunities involving pensions. They could be communicated via email, social media, text, or on the phone
- Individuals should check the FCA Register or contact the FCA (0800 1116768) to check that the firm that they are dealing with is authorised by the FCA. This should be done prior to changing any pension arrangements
- Individuals should not be rushed or pressured into making decisions about their pensions
- Be ScamSmart and visit the ScamSmart website for advice and guidance on protection from pension scams
- If unexpected contact is made regarding an investment opportunity, the advice is to seek guidance from friends, family or an independent advice service prior to making any substantial financial decisions, particularly where pensions are concerned
If anyone believes that they have been a victim of pension fraud, they should notify their pension provider as soon as possible and also report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk, or by ringing 0300 123 2040.
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