Scammers are targeting pension pots of all sizes – make sure you know how to spot the signs. Pension scammers are targeting people like you with the average victim losing £91,000 each.
Scams are hard to spot and are often disguised with credible websites, testimonials and materials which make them look like the real thing.
To help you spot the signs and protect yourself from a scam, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) suggest following four simple steps:
Step 1 - Reject unexpected offers
If you’re contacted out of the blue about a pension opportunity, chances are it’s a scam. Pension cold calling is illegal, and you should be very wary. An offer of a free pension review from a firm you’ve not dealt with before, is probably a scam.
Step 2 - Check who you’re dealing with
Search ScamSmart and check the FCA’s register to make sure anyone offering you advice is authorised. If they are, check they’re permitted to give pension advice by calling the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you don’t use an FCA-authorised firm, you risk not having access to compensation schemes.
Step 3 - Don’t be rushed or pressured
Take your time to make all the checks you need – even if this means turning down what seems to be an ‘amazing deal’.
Step 4 - Get impartial information or advice
You should seriously consider seeking financial advice before changing your pension arrangements. In some cases, for example where you are wanting to transfer more than £30,000 from a defined benefit scheme, you must obtain this advice.
Consider using The Pensions Advisory Service which provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
If you suspect a scam, report it.
You can report an unauthorised firm or scam to the FCA using the online reporting form or call 0800 111 6768.
If you suspect a scam, report it to Action Fraud or call them on 0300 123 2040.