Beware cold-calls from fraudsters claiming to be from Pensions Regulator

18 July 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has received reports of pension holders being cold-called by individuals who have posed as TPR staff and offered the workers a 'free pension review' – a common warning sign of a scam.

TPR never cold-call individuals about their pensions – the cold-calls are coming from fraudsters who may be trying to steal the savings of workers by falsely claiming to be calling from TPR.

TPR has referred the cases to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for investigation and although only two reports have been received to date, it has taken swift action to alert consumers about the threat posed by the fraudsters.

Neither of the individuals who have contacted TPR about the bogus calls were tricked into handing over their details or any funds to the fraudsters. However, as only a minority of scam attempts are ever reported, many more people who have not yet come forward may have been approached by the cold-callers.

Mike Broomfield, TPR’s Head of Intelligence, said:

“…If anyone cold-calls you about your pension, it is an attempt to steal your savings. Just hang up.

TPR leads Project Bloom, a multi-agency task force which is working with government, the pensions industry, law enforcement agencies and other regulators to combat pension scams.

Project Bloom members were at the forefront of calls for the Government to ban pension cold-calling. The ban is expected to become law next year.”

Five signs of a scam to be aware of are:

  • a free pension review
  • the promise of guaranteed returns on your investment
  • low tax / tax-free rates, including tax-free lump sums
  • exotic sounding and/or overseas investments
  • pressure to sign up quickly to avoid missing out.

If you are cold-called about your pension or believe you could be the victim of pension fraud, please contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.

TPR also has further tips and information on their website on how you can prevent yourself, your friends and your family from becoming a victim.