Pen­sion cold-call ban to weed out scams

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - MONEY - Eco­nomic Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury John Glen BY VICKY SHAW

Com­pa­nies mak­ing nui­sance calls about pen­sions now face po­ten­tial fines of up to £500,000 and en­force­ment ac­tion.

Re­search by the Money Ad­vice Ser­vice sug­gests there are as many as eight scam calls tak­ing place ev­ery sec­ond in the UK – 250 mil­lion calls a year.

The con­se­quences can be dev­as­tat­ing for vic­tims. Pen­sion scam­mers stole an av­er­age of £91,000 per vic­tim last year, ac­cord­ing to the Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Author­ity (FCA).

New roles which came into force last week pro­hibit cold call­ing in re­la­tion to pen­sions.

Pen­sion scams, which can lead to peo­ple los­ing their life sav­ings, of­ten start with a cold call.

If you are con­tacted out of the blue about your pen­sion, there is a high risk it is a scam.

Warn­ing signs that the caller is a scam­mer in­clude offers of “free pen­sion re­views”, high-pres­sure sales tac­tics, com­plex in­vest­ment struc­tures where it is not clear where your money will end up, and prom­ises of too-goodto-be-true re­turns.

T h e r e a r e s o m e ex­cep­tions to the ban, in­clud­ing where the caller is au­tho­rised by the FCA, or is the trustee or man­ager of an oc­cu­pa­tional or per­sonal pen­sion scheme.

Eco­nomic Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury John Glen said: “Cold call­ing is the pen­sion scam­mers’ main tac­tic, which is why we’ve made them il­le­gal.”

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