2020 has seen exponential rises in cases of online fraud and scams as criminals seek to make money out of uncertainty and people’s vulnerabilities during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sadly, the elderly have long been a target of scammers with pension savings being one of the most common targets. According to recent information published by XPS Pensions Group the problem is even more widespread than previously feared and at currently stands at one of the highest levels ever recorded.
The reassuring news for consumers is there are a range of early warning signs to look out for when talking to people about your pension savings. If there is even a slight suspicion then contact your provider immediately.
Sometime referred to as cold calls, these are when someone contacts you out of the blue. This might be to talk to you about an opportunity, a chance to invest and the different ways you might choose to do so or even being able to enjoy your pension money before the age of 55.
These calls can prove convincing and tempting and that is exactly how they are designed to be. It is vital to remember that if someone calls to discuss cashing in your hard earned pension savings before the age of 55, it is almost definitely a scam, illegal and should be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
They can be easy to fall prey to but fraudsters and scams do have certain giveaway signs, here are just a few to be wary of:
- these can be via landline, mobile or even text message or visiting your home unexpectedly
- Anyone offering you help to access your pension savings before the age of 55
- Anyone keen to talk to you about withdrawing lump sums from your pension to invest
- Anyone keen to rush you about decisions regarding your pensions, such as asking to sending documents by courier or express mail
- Anyone using phrases such as ‘pension liberation’, ‘loopholes’, ‘pension reviews’ and ‘one-off investments’
Fraudulent emails can look surprisingly convincing and ideally, every email relating to financial matters should be treated with suspicion and extreme care. If for example you receive an email notifying you of changes in banking details or requests to make existing payments into new accounts, contact your provider immediately with details you already have, not the ones in the email.
Sources of help and support
Fortunately there are a number of trusted, reputable resources available if you suspect you have been approached, or been the victim of pension scammers. You can also read our blog on how to protect your personal data. We also help a lot of clients moving pensions overseas or bringing them back and using a truster FX provider like us will save you money and is super secure. Our rates can be up to 85% cheaper than other providers.
Action fraud are available to UK residents by telephone on 0300 123 2040 or via their dedicated online reporting portal.
If you have been approached out of the blue by someone looking to discuss your pension savings you can speak to The Pensions Advisory Service in the UK on 0800 011 3797.
For more help and information regarding pension savings scams and how to avoid them you can visit the pensions regulator website here.
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