A joint warning from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says that five million pension savers could be risking their retirement pots due to scammers, which has left people feeling, as you can imagine, a little bit worried.
The regulators’ warning came after research revealed that 42% of pension savers could be at risk of falling for common tactics used by scammers. The survey questioned more than 2,000 adults aged 45 to 65 and came up with some rather astonishing results.
The research suggested that cold calls, exotic investments and early access to cash are among the most effective tactics utilised by scammers. It later found that 60% of those who are actively looking for ways to boost their retirement income are likely to be hooked by a scam.
Further to this, the survey found that 23% of those enrolled in pension schemes would pursue high risk, exotic opportunities if offered to them, while 17% said they would be interested in early access. Of all respondents, 23% said that they had actually discussed their pension plans with a cold caller.
Pensions and financial inclusion minister, Guy Opperman, said that scammers were, “nothing short of despicable. We know we can beat these callous crooks, because the message out there does work. Last year’s pension scams awareness campaign prevented hundreds of people from losing as much as £34m, and I am backing this year’s efforts to be bigger and better.”
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: “It doesn’t matter the size of your pension pot – scammers are after your savings. Get to know the warning signs, and before making any decision about your pension, be ScamSmart and check you are dealing with an FCA authorised firm."
The warning comes after the FCA revealed more than £197m was lost to scams in 2018. Two victims even lost more than £1m each!
You can check out information on how to stop scammers on the FCA’s ScamSmart website.
If you have any concerns about a phone call you have received or any other communications from an unfamiliar source, get in contact and we will make sure to steer you away from any scams.
11 September 2019
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.