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Posted on 23rd October by Graham Laverick

PENSION SHARKS FIND NEW WAYS TO HOODWINK SAVERS

The Pensions Regulator has recently issued a warning after crooks have stolen an estimated £5 million in the first five months of 2017.Pension fraudsters are cut and pasting official scam alerts to dupe savers into thinking they are dealing with above board businesses.

 

Savers need to be on the lookout for potential traps.  Calling pension scheme members out of the blue and creating impressive looking websites are just two of the methods.  If someone cold calls they could be trying to take your money.  Phrases such as the following should set alarm bells ringing: 

  • The offer won’t last long
  • You’re entitled to a free government review
  • You’ll make a better return by investing in storage units/forests/overseas property
  • There’s a guaranteed 7 per cent return
  • We’ll send a courier over with your documents
  • Can you sign quickly- I’m parked on a double yellow line
  • There’s a legal loophole
  • You’re a sophisticated investor
  • It’s free
  • Your pension company may try to talk you out of it as they just want to keep hold of your money

The government has recently bowed to finance industry pressure to ban cold calls, texts and emails about pensions in a new effort to fight the scourge of fraud.

The government, police and financial regulators have created the Project Bloom task force to combat pension fraud. Its tips are listed below. The Pension Regulator have also just produced two new videos on how to protect yourself against conmen.

 

How to guard against scams

  1. Hang up on cold callers
  2. Beware of unregulated investments offering guaranteed returns
  3. Check if a firm is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  4. Don’t let a friend talk you into an investment make sure you check everything yourself

 

If you think you have fallen victim to a scam or want to report a suspicious approach, the Action Fraud website or call 0300 1232040 is the place to start. The Pension Advisory Service also offers impartial guidance on 0300 1231047 but cannot provide independent advice.