The UK government has now banned nuisance calls, texts and emails relating to pensions. People of retirement age have been warned to remain on their guard for pension scammers.
A cold-calling ban was first planned nearly two years ago. However, the government has been criticised for taking too long to implement the ban.
For many years, cold-calling has been used by pension fraudsters. They persuade people to invest life savings and pension funds in risky financial schemes.
In some cases so-called investments are non-existent.
According to previous research by Citizens Advice, upwards of ten million unsolicited pension calls and messages are made each year.
Exceptions that mean contact is allowed
If the caller has been authorised by the Financial Conduct authority (FCA) a call can be made. Calls are also deemed appropriate, if:
– the caller is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme, and the pension holder receiving the call has consented to being contacted
– the recipient already has an ongoing professional relationship with the caller
Why do people get scammed?
Where there is money to be made there are people looking to take advantage of others.
According the FCA, in 2017 victims of pension scammers lost an average of £91,000 each.
The scams begin with an unexpected call, text, email or contact via social media. The scammers offer “free” pension reviews. They entice victims with attractive but unrealistic returns with bogus investment opportunities.
Schemes involve hotel building investments, energy schemes and Crypto currencies.
Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) linked up with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and launched the ScamSmart advertising campaign. It urged the public to be cautious when receiving offers about their pension.
The adverts encouraged people to thoroughly check who they are dealing with. The official website also carries important advice and tips for people who are potential targets – those in the 45 to 65 age range.
Will pension scammers be fined?
When a law or regulation is announced some operators look to exploit loopholes – legal or otherwise.
Although fines of up to £500,000 exist, some fear that fraudsters will still ignore the ban.
So people with savings and pension funds should always proceed with caution when they seek legitimate investments.
Unfortunately, the authorities need help identifying scammers.
Sadly, often through embarrassment, many pension scams are never reported by victims.
To help future targets, it is always advisable to report unsolicited calls or messages to the authorities.
Who can you trust with pensions?
The most effective advice is simple. If in doubt, hang up the phone. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You can find straightforward information about avoiding pension scams on the government’s website HERE.
Otherwise, Logic Wealth Planning offers independent financial advice. We help you make the right decisions about future income and investment decisions that relate to pensions.
Call or email and we can start the conversation, on your terms, at a pace you are comfortable with.
Logic Wealth Planning advisers are available on 0808 1234 321, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.