Pension scams are on the rise, and there are different types which sometimes make it harder to identify, but they can all lead to you losing a lifetime’s worth of savings.
Since April 2015, you have more choices about how you can access your pension pot than in the past, which is excellent for you when you decide to take your pension, but scammers also know this and will try to lure you with one-off deals and a higher guaranteed return that you can’t get elsewhere.
How to spot a scam
When it comes to pension scams, there are some tell-tale signs that the person on the other side of the phone isn’t who they say they are.
- If they approach you by phone call, text message, email, or in-person without your permission, i.e. filled in a form online or asked for a call back before they get in touch. A ban on cold calling about pensions came into place in January 2019.
- If they can offer you an income that is sufficiently higher than any other provider can. Sometimes this is possible but always check first.
- If you feel rushed to decide quickly on what you would like to do and pressured into giving personal bank details over the phone.
- Contact details you are provided, or on their website are only mobile phone numbers or a PO box address.
To prevent losing your pension savings, always check a company is on the FCA register; asking for the registration number shouldn’t be a problem to a legitimate company. If you do feel like you may have been targeted, then please report it to https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.