Unfortunately, scams are becoming more rife, and it is those who have worked hard to save for later life who are at risk. Scams surrounding pensions have become increasingly common, with fraudsters stepping up their efforts.
The scammers can often be articulate, and appear financially knowledgable to lull Britons into a false sense of security.
Consequently, the Government is warning Britons to remain on guard to protect themselves.
Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions, said: “Scammers who steal people’s hard-earned savings are the lowest of the low.
“The Pension Schemes Act made pensions safer, but we’re not stopping there, knowing that as scammers’ crooked techniques evolve, so must our defences.
As a result, when he received a call from out of the blue offering a supposed free pension review, Bob was hooked.
He said: “He knew me by name, spoke to me professionally about investments, and even sent a courier over to sign the papers. He seemed a really decent guy.
“Just shy of 40 years pension. They took all of it.”
Unfortunately, this type of pension scam is becoming increasingly common, with seemingly good deals enticing many Britons.
The Government has warned scammers often approach unannounced in various mediums such as by phone, email, social media, text or even showing up on a person’s doorstep.
It is worth noting cold calls relating to pensions have been banned, so all unexpected communications should be treated with extreme caution.
The scammers can often appear to have good financial knowledge as well as credible looking websites.
However, if an offer looks and sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
An offer of a “free pension review” should be treated with suspicion, as should offers of “legal loopholes” and time-limited offers.
Finally, if a person receives an offer of a high or guaranteed return – typically seven or eight percent or even higher – but only if a transfer takes place, this should set alarm bells ringing.
Margaret Snowdown, Chair of the Pension Scams Industry Group, remarked: “To stop scammers in their tracks, we need to make it harder for them to win.
“The collaboration between Government, regulators and industry in this is making a real difference.”
It is hoped the Government’s Online Safety Bill will crack down on adverts on the web which may not be what they seem.