Pension Savers Lose £30m To Fraud
Pension scams have cost the UK Over £30 million since 2017 according to Regulators in the industry.
According to complaints filed with Action Fraud, £30,857,329 has been reported lost to pension fraudsters in the last few years with the main tactic being time pressure, says the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
The fraudsters do not cherry pick their victim either as big or small pension pots are targeted, accounting for losses less than £1,000 right up to as high as £500,000. With the average victim being over fifties men.
However, most concerning is that a lot of scams are unreported so the actual figure is likely to be much higher due to savers not spotting the signs or even realising they have been scammed for a number of years – because they are unaware of what is in their pension pot to start with.
As part of their ScamSmart campaign, FCA and TPR collaborated with legendary football commentator Clive Tyldesley (aged 65) as fresh up to date research indicated that this particularly rings true for older football fans getting close to retirement age. With just 43% knowing how much is in their pot and nearly half (45%) not knowing how to check if someone was genuine when approached about their pension.
With scammers enticing savers with seemingly attractive offers with deadlines in order to persuade them to transfer their pot to them, the FCA and TPR wanted to ensure everyone was aware that there is no transfer deadline for pensions and that ‘time-limited offers’ approach was a tactic used by the fraudsters to pressurise individuals to release their capital.
Commentator legend, Clive Tyldesley said:
“Scammers are very good at breaking down your defences and putting you under pressure with various deadlines. But your pension isn’t a football transfer – there are no deadlines! Your favourite team wouldn’t buy a new striker just because his agent says he’s good. They’d ask around, check out his stats, do some research – just like you should when handling your pension plans. Before you fall foul to savvy scammers, remember to take your time, seek advice, and speak to an FCA authorised adviser. Don’t agree to anything you’re unsure of.”
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, FCA, said:
“During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to defend your lifetime savings from scammers. Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much or how little you have saved. You can check the status of a firm before changing your pension by visiting the FCA register, and get advice from an FCA authorised firm before making any changes to your pension. And give scammers the boot!”
Charles Counsell, Chief Executive, TPR, said:
“Scammers wreck lives and no matter how big or small your savings are, every pot is a target. It may seem tempting to make a change to your pension fund now, but it’s important not to rush. Before making any decision about your pension, take your time, and visit the ScamSmart website to always check who you are dealing with.”