Five signs of a pension scam and what to do

We don’t want you to fall victim to a pension scam, so it’s important to be aware of what to look out for and what to do if you have been caught out as scammers will resort to all sorts of means to get their hands on your pension.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are leading a taskforce to combat pension scams and an awareness campaign providing videos and tips can be found here: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams.aspx

Here are five top tips to protect yourself from a scam:

  1. Act immediately if you think you’ve been scammed
  2. Hang up on cold calls
  3. Beware of guaranteed returns or time limited offers
  4. Ensure the person you’re dealing with is an authorised and regulated financial adviser
  5. Check any details yourself rather than a recommendation from a friend

Under its advice, TPR wants people to remain vigilant and warns everyone to be aware and cautious of any of the following:

  • Offer of 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

Contact your pension provider immediately if you've signed something which you're now unsure about as they may be able to stop the transaction. Be sure to report it to the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040.

If you aren’t sure what to do, you can call The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) for help on 0300 123 1047 or visit their website for information.

You can check if the deal you’re being offered is a known scam too by visiting https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

You should ensure that the person you are dealing with is authorised to give advice on pensions, as dealing with someone who is not regulated means you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. You can check for both firms and individuals on the following site: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.

We are supportive of this initiative and encourage you to share this with family and friends.

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