Team to warn on pension scams
REGULATORS are launching a new campaign to tackle pension scams as alarming figures show that victims of fraud lost an average of £91,000 each in 2017.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have joined forces to urge the public to “be on their guard” when receiving unexpected offers about their pension and to check who they are dealing with.
A new ScamSmart advertising campaign will target pension holders aged 45-65, the group most at risk of pension scams, the regulators said.
A total of 243 victims reported to Action Fraud that they had lost more than £23m to pension scammers in 2017, equating to an average loss of £91,000 per victim. However, it is thought that only a minority of pension scams are ever reported.
It comes as “highly sophisticated” scammers continue to lure people into transferring their pensions into fraudulent schemes, the FCA warned.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “The size of individual pension pots makes pensions savings an attractive target for fraudsters.
“That’s why we’re urging anyone who is thinking about transferring their pension to check who they are dealing with and only use firms authorised by the FCA.
“Pension scams can cause victims significant harm – both financially and mentally.
“If you are ever in doubt about a pension offer, visit the ScamSmart website.”
Research conducted by the regulators shows that one in eight 45 to 65-yearolds (12%) would trust an offer of a “free pension review” from someone claiming to be a pension adviser.
Worryingly, almost a third (32%) of pension holders aged 45-65 would not know how to check whether they are speaking with a legitimate pensions adviser or provider.