All that glitters isn’t gold. Discover how to dig deeper and protect your pension with our tips.
What is pension fraud?
Pension frauds, or pension scams, essentially target pension scheme members to part with their hard-earned money. Fraudsters might ask their victims to transfer their pension pot into either non-existent or non-genuine schemes set-up to defraud people of their investments. Or, they might offer them cash incentives to gain early access to their pension benefits - referring to them as a pension loan. But these so-called opportunities often turn out to be a scam and leave the pension holder with significant losses and serious tax implications.
The coronavirus outbreak has affected all kinds of companies, including those listed on the stock market. As a result, markets have been volatile and are likely to remain so for a while. This can have an impact on pensions, leading to additional worry for savers. It can also lead to an increase in scams, as unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the situation.
Spotting and avoiding pension fraud
If you're looking to make any changes to your pension arrangements, be cautious and do it the safe way. In other words, do your own research first, and seek advice from an impartial source, such as a financial adviser or accountant. It’s wise to wait until you’re armed with all the right information for your specific needs, before making any changes.
Take your time. Thoroughly check out the firm or person that you are dealing with to ensure that they are reputable and ensure that any provider or scheme you are considering is genuine.
Don't be rushed or pressured into action. If you have any concerns relating to your Fidelity pension, call us on 0800 358 7712. If you have paid any monies directly yourself and are concerned, then contact your bank or building society immediately. If you've not acted immediately, ScamSmart can help you figure out whether a pension is genuine or not.
To help you avoid pension scams and check if a firm is genuine
The Pensions Regulator
The UK regulator of workplace pension schemes
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)
TPAS provides free and impartial information and guidance.
Offers pre-booked appointments, if you are over 50 and have a defined contribution pension, to give free impartial guidance on your retirement options.
A national campaign offering advice to help consumers protect themselves against financial fraud
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime
Other financial threats to look out for
Fraudsters are highly committed to their cause. By knowing what they’re up to, you can take steps to protect yourself.
Suspicious emails and phone calls
Learn how to spot a fraudulent email or phone call, so you’re not reeled in.
Be wise. Don’t fall prey to too-good-to-be-true, high-pressure, deadline-driven offers.
Find out more about criminal influence, to ensure you’re in control of your financial purse strings.
Look beyond the disguise. Impersonation can be the first step to someone stealing your assets.