Research from Age UK has highlighted this worrying trend, and is warning that older people are particularly at risk of being victims. Their research found that over two-fifths of respondents have been a target of pension scams, and even more concerning is the fact that just over a tenth of older people have responded to them, many of whom have lost money in the process.
The research found that single people and those aged over 75 are at greatest risk of responding to pension scams, with over a quarter of single respondents having done so, compared with the average of just over one in 10. Furthermore, 16% of single people had given over money and a fifth also gave their personal details, compared with 6% and 2% respectively of married people.
People over the age of 75 were also more inclined to give scammers their personal or financial information, highlighting that age is a big risk factor when it comes to scams. Yet few admit to being victims: more than a fifth of those who had been targeted didn't tell anyone as they felt too embarrassed, and even among those who admitted being scammed, most only told their friend and family instead of someone official.
This means a large proportion of pension scams could be going unreported, and it's something that Age UK wants to change. That's why they've come up with these top tips to help people avoid pension scams, in line with Scams Awareness Month, and highlight ways to help if you've been targeted:
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