Pension scams

Scams are designed to encourage you to invest your savings into schemes that look legitimate, but actually line the pockets of unscrupulous fraudsters. Your hard-earned pension fund could be the target of financial scams when you’re planning how to put your savings to use.

Pension scams are on the rise, and the variety of scams taking place can make them hard to identify. But unfortunately, they could 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. However, scammers also know this and will try to lure you with one-off deals and higher guaranteed returns that you can’t get elsewhere. 

How to spot a scam

When it comes to pension scams, there are some telltale signs that the person on the other end of the phone isn’t who they say they are. Here are some things to look out for:

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Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone claims they can offer you an income that is significantly higher than any other provider can, be cautious! Sometimes this is possible, but always check first.

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A ban on cold calling anyone about their pension was put in place in January 2019, so be wary if you’re approached by phone call, text message, email, or even in-person without your prior permission (i.e. you filled in a form online or asked for a callback beforehand).

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Scammers may try and rush you make decisions quickly and pressure you into giving personal bank details over the phone.

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Look out for clues in their contact details – scammers often will have mobile numbers or PO box addresses on their website or business cards. 

You may also come across websites that look like they’re run by a familiar provider. However, any contact forms or links on legitimate websites will never ask you for your bank details or personal information (beyond basic contact details). The URL at the top of any webpage should have https:// at the start, too. Any page without the ‘s’ is not secure and could be a scam.

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 for a legitimate company. If you do feel like you have may have been targeted, then please report it to