Protect yourself from pension scams
Understanding the warning signs to keep your money safe
Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with their scams. Online scams can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on victims.
Pension scammers are bombarding the public with calls, texts and emails and it can be easy to fall victim to such a scam.
Anyone thinking about making an investment should always do their research first, visit the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) website and double-check every detail before handing over any money or personal details.
How and where fraud can occur
One of the best defences is to understand how and where fraud can occur. People should be wary of unexpected contact that comes out of the blue such as cold calls, letters or emails, and they should be sceptical of unusually high or unrealistic returns. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.
People should also be wary if they come under pressure to quickly withdraw money from a pension or complete a transfer. The best option for people considering transferring a pension or withdrawing money as they retire is to speak to a qualified professional financial adviser.
Unsolicited emails, texts, telephone calls
14% (7.6 million) of adults in a recent survey say they have received unsolicited emails, texts, or telephone calls from people encouraging them to transfer or release money from their pension . Nearly half 47% (25 million) say pension scams are hard to spot, but only a third (32%) say they know how to report a scam.
Currently, 27% (14 million) of adults are worried that they may unwittingly fall prey to a pension scam because they’re so sophisticated these days.
How to minimise the risk of pension scams
Pension scams can be hard to spot. Scammers can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing.
So what should you do if you have concerns and receive an unsolicited contact?
If you think you may have fallen victim to a scam, please contact your financial adviser immediately. There may be ways to limit any damage.
If you’ve been caught out by a complex and convincing scam that has resulted in you transferring your money into another bank account then you should contact your bank immediately. They may be able to stop or recover the funds once they are notified.
If you think you’ve uncovered an investment scam, been targeted by a scam or fallen victim to fraudsters, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at Action Fraud.
If you feel threatened, report this to the police immediately by calling 999.
Source data:  https://www.lv.com/about-us/press/14m-britons-fear-falling-victim-to-pension-scams