pension scams

Better-educated pensioners ‘more likely to be duped by scammers’

Victims of pension scams could see their savings cleared out by fraudsters in less than a day, leaving them penniless in retirement, an industry watchdog has warned.

Analysis by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) as part of the regulators’ joint ScamSmart campaign with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), reveals that it could take 22 years for a saver to build a pension pot of £82,000 – the average amount that victims lost to scams in 2018.

However, the regulator says that savers could lose all their savings within the space 24 hours if they fall victim to scammers.

Five million savers in danger of losing retirement funds to scammers

New research from the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pension Regulator suggests that 42% of people investing for retirement – amounting to five million people across the UK – are at risk of being conned out of their pension by scammers using a range of tactics.

Alarmingly for Money Observer readers, the research shows that those who consider themselves to be financially astute are just as likely to lose money to these schemes.

Billions lost while just 10 FCA staff dedicated to pension scams

The Work and Pensions select committee is calling on the financial regulator to devote more resources to pension scams after it emerged that pension companies are swindling billions from customers.

A parliamentary inquiry has found that unscrupulous advisers are fleecing pension savers out of £2 billion in unnecessary fees and charges.

Are family gangs behind pension scams?

The regulator has worked with other government agencies on Project Bloom, set up to tackle pension scams.

Project Bloom has identified a number of gangs with close family ties targeting pension savers. A number of criminal investigations into these family gangs are under way between TPR, government agencies and the police.

Pension cold-calling to be banned from January

From 9 January, it will be against the law for firms or individuals to call people about pensions out of the blue.

However, it is unlikely that pension cold calls will stop entirely as many fraudsters are based overseas.

Can you recognise the latest pension scams?

Pension freedoms introduced in 2015 allow those age 55 and over to spend or invest their pension funds as they want. However, according to the government, in the first year of relaxed rules around £19 million was lost to pension fraudsters – double the figure for the previous year.