The Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator have today launched a joint TV advertising campaign, which aims to raise awareness of pension scams. With victims losing an average of £91,000 each, any intervention that could prevent more people losing some or all their pension is welcome indeed.
The advertisements will be targeting pension holders aged 45 to 65, as 32% in this category admitted that they would not know how to check whether they are speaking with a legitimate pensions adviser or not. For instance, 12% said they would trust an offer for a free pension review from someone claiming to be a pensions adviser, even though this is one of the most common scam tactics.
While the Government is still working on a ban on pension cold calling, discussion of this has been postponed until autumn. In the meantime, cold calling is still the most common way for fraudsters to contact potential victims, and the pension freedoms have made retirement pots an especially attractive target.
"£91,000 is a huge amount of money for someone approaching their retirement to suddenly have ripped from their savings," Nicola Parish, executive director of The Pensions Regulator, said. "If someone cold calls you about your pension, it's probably an attempt to steal your savings. Our message is clear – hang up and report it."
Given the importance of later-life savings, it may be a good idea for anyone getting close to retirement to seek out an FCA-authorised adviser themselves. By doing your own research (and not being tempted by offers that seem too good to be true), you can make sure the person you're speaking to is legitimate, and it may make all the difference when it comes to how much money you will have to spend in retirement as well.
Visit the FCA's ScamSmart website for more information on pension scams and how to avoid them. To find out more about retirement and pensions, why not have a look at our guides, or visit our annuities page?
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