Don’t be Fooled; Pension Scams are on the Rise



Having saved your entire working life for a comfortable retirement and felt financially savvy for much of this time, you probably think it’s impossible for you to fall victim to a pension scam. Yet by using a credible amount of financial knowledge, a professional looking website and plausible testimonials, the sophisticated scammer is getting harder and harder to spot.


Financial Advisers are becoming increasingly concerned about the rapid rise in pension scams and the sector is now calling on the government to impose a ban on pension cold-calling. However, this has yet to be implemented and even if it happens it won’t eradicate scams completely. It is therefore vital you are aware of pension scams and how to avoid them.


It is important to remember that whilst most scams happen out of the blue – you might receive a telephone call, text or email – you could be introduced to a scammer through a friend or relative. Whether you receive a phone call or meet in person, the scammer will invariably be incredibly persuasive, employ high pressure sales tactics and offer a highly attractive proposition.


High pressure sales tactics are incredibly common. Scammers tend to guarantee higher returns if you sign up before a certain deadline. It is not uncommon for them to rush through the approval of paperwork and arrange couriers to collect signed documents. The proposition is usually complex and involves high-risk, unregulated investments in activities, such as overseas property, forestry projects and diamonds.


If something appears to good to be true, it usually is. This old adage is absolutely true in the case of pension scams. Whilst many financial advisers offer a complimentary financial review at the outset of your relationship, regulated advisers do not implement their recommendations for free. If you are offered pension advice without charge, a scam is likely to be underway.


Whether alarms bells start to ring or remain stubbornly silent, if you are approached by an unknown person or company regarding financial advice, it is important you carry out comprehensive background checks on their credentials. You can validate whether they are regulated or not by checking the FCA Register and the FCA Warning List. You should not be rushed in any way to sign up to a new pension scheme, no matter how attractive it appears. Additionally, you ought to seek impartial advice by approaching a reputable company and the Pensions Advisory Service.


If you are alerted to a pension scam or unauthorised firm, you can report it to the FCA or Action Fraud. If you suspect you have been a victim of a scam, contact your existing pension provider at the earliest opportunity, as they may be able to stop the transfer of funds. If a transfer has taken place, you could be targeted by other criminals, so it is important you report any fraudulent activity.


Should you require impartial and independent financial advice regarding your pension savings, you can discuss your situation with our Independent Financial Advisers. We are fully regulated by the FCA and can provide advice on all aspects of retirement planning, including Occupational Pension Transfers and Pension Opt Outs. Please telephone 01352 754 272 or email




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