Don't get caught out by pension scams
Date published: 31 July 2020
The impact of fraud can be both financially and emotionally devastating.
Greater Manchester Police are warning about scammer targeting pension savers in the region.
Scammers will try to persuade pension savers to cash out their pension and put the money into fraudulent and unregulated investments with the promise of high returns.
Watch out if an individual or company:
- contacts you unexpectedly about your pension money by phone, text message, visiting you in person, or via email
- claims that you can access your pension money before 55 and that they can help you do this
- encourages you to take out a large lump sum, or your whole pension pot in one go, and to let them invest it for you
- pressures you into making a decision
- asks you to transfer your money quickly, even sending documents to you by courier
- uses words like ‘pension liberation’, ‘loan’, ‘loophole’, ‘free pension review’ or ‘one-off investment’
- offers you an investment described as ‘unique’, ‘overseas’, ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘ethical’ or in a ‘new’ industry
How to protect yourself
- Reject unexpected offers: If you get a cold call about your pension, the safest thing to do is to hang up. If you get unsolicited offers via email or text you should simply ignore them.
- Check who you are dealing with: Check the FCA Register to make sure that anyone offering you advice or other financial services is FCA authorised and always use the contact details provided on the FCA Register, not the ones that the firm gives you.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured: Take your time to make all the checks you need and be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true.
- Getting impartial information or advice: You can get independent and impartial advice from the Pensions Advisory Service or if you are over 55, Pension Wise. If you choose to use a financial adviser make sure they regulated by the FCA.
Detective Sergeant Stacey Shannon, of GMP’s Economic Crime Hub, said: “Falling victim of a pension scam can be truly devastating, with victims losing money they have saved throughout their lives and potentially facing a retirement with little or no income.
"This is why I would urge people to check before they part with their hard earned money – check who you are dealing with, check they genuine and check you are happy before rushing into anything.
“If a company or individual has contacted you out of the blue, simply hang up, delete the message or walk away.
"If you feel you may have been victim of a scam please report it to Action Fraud by call 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.”
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