"Clearly, the FCA’s Scamsmart campaign has helped to alert people to the dangers of pension scams, with hundreds of thousands more people going online to check out the campaign. Although this kind of engagement is encouraging, it is deeply concerning that over half (52%) of 45-65 year olds with a pension don’t think they are likely be targeted by a pension scam. This illustrates that there are still huge amounts of people unattuned to the risks of these types of scams and have their guard down. Pension scams are often persuasive and sophisticated with even the most savvy person liable to fall foul of one of these cons in an off-moment.
"Pension freedoms have drastically changed the retirement landscape but one of their unintended consequences is that while people have much easier access to their funds, they are also in turn more vulnerable to scams. Scammers now simply have to convince an over 55 year old saver, to withdraw their funds and divert this money into other forms of investments with the promise of amazing returns, which never become a reality.
"Despite the cold calling ban being lauded as one of the ways to combat pension scams, its delay has frustrated many people, albeit the Government is grappling with all of the nuances and complications of its introduction. A ban may not necessarily deter the scammers, but it is clear campaigns to raise awareness, like that launched earlier this year by TPR and the FCA, send a clear message that will put people on their guard.
"A pension is something people have worked all their lives to build up but one lapse of judgement could mean that it vanishes. To avoid becoming a victim of a pension scam people take three steps to make sure they are comfortable they are making the right decision: 1) If you are contacted out of the blue, whether by phone, email or by post offering something that sounds too good to be true reject it; 2) Check the FCA’s Scamsmart site for companies on the warning list and 3) Speak to a financial adviser to be sure of your legitimate options with your pension savings."