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Savers should be wary of offers to invest their savings into schemes that promise the earth
The Pensions Regulator has recently published details of a case where four people who ran a series of scam pension schemes have been ordered to pay back £13.7 million they took from their victims. 245 members of the public were persuaded via cold-calling and similar techniques to transfer their pension savings into one of 11 scam schemes operated by Friendly Pensions Limited (FPL).
Victims were told that if they transferred their pension pots to the schemes they would receive a tax-free payment commonly described as a “commission rebate” from investments made by the pension scheme – a form of pension scam.
Mike Broomfield, Head of Intelligence at The Pensions Regulator, in a Radio 4 interview warns that pension holders should be wary, questioning, and suspicious of everything they are promised when pressured by someone to transfer their pension into a “golden opportunity”.
Scammers are often plausible individuals, but there are common danger signs to look out for to avoid falling victim to a scam. You can help to keep your clients safe from scams by making them aware of the danger signs to look out for, which include:
1. If you think you’ve been scammed, act immediately
- Contact your pension provider first to see if you can stop the transfer taking place.
- Then contact Pensions Wise to discuss your options.
- Then contact Action Fraud to report the scam.
2. Cold called about your pension? Hang up.
3. Beware of investment deals that just seem too good to be true.
4. Make sure your adviser is regulated by the FCA.
5. Don’t take recommendations from a friend – check everything yourself.
For more information about pension scams and how to help your clients avoid them, go to www.tpr.gov.uk/pension-scams