After saving for years into a pension fund, one of the worst things that can happen is being targeted by a scammer. But there are tell-tale clues that often give fraudsters away.
We talked to an expert for tips on avoiding pension scams and what to do if you come across a rogue ‘adviser’.
Even if no money has changed hands, if you think someone is trying to scam you, you should report it to The Pensions Regulator.
‘If you don’t report it, they’ll just carry on doing it until they get stopped,’ says James. ‘The key for us is for people to report it as soon as possible.’
Again, you can report any scam or unauthorised firm by heading to the ScamSmart website.
But what do you do if you’ve already handed over money and are questioning the legitimacy of the adviser?
‘If you have handed your money over for some reason, or you find out that a relation or friend has, you or they can go onto the ScamSmart website and go through what needs to be done to try and get it back,’ explains James.
‘The first step is report it to Action Fraud. They will work out who the best person to investigate and deal with it is. It could even be that there’s an investigation already looking into it, and they can add you to the case.
‘Unfortunately, though, until you tell us, the money you handed over could continue to be spent.’
‘Ultimately, the phrasing that we’ve used before is: if it looks too good to be true, it is,’ concludes James.
It’s best to remember that, although the benefits on offer may sound attractive, there is a very high chance that you will end up severely out of pocket if you take up the ‘exclusive, one-time deal’. And if you suspect you, or someone you know, has fallen victim, you should report it straight away – even if it’s just to stop the fraudsters scamming someone else.