Five questions on: Pension scams

 

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The Independent Online

Hasn't the Government put an end to these yet?

No. Fraudsters and crooks have been out in force trying to fleece people out of their cash in the wake of the new pension freedoms that came into force last month.

Who says?

The consumer group Which? has published a report today showing that a third of older people who have not yet retired have been contacted about "potentially dodgy" pension products. The most common sales pitches were "investment opportunities", a free pension review, or offers to unlock your pension or provide you with access to your pension pot early. Most of the approaches came over the phone, although many people reported being contacted by letter or email.

Aren't the scams easy to spot?

Fraudsters can be persuasive and sound plausible, especially to those not on their guard. Even so, it's worrying that only half of those surveyed by Which? said they'd be able to identify a legitimate pension investment and that nearly four in ten think they could be tricked.

What should we do?

People should be wary of anyone who contacts them out of the blue offering help with pension planning or investment. Look out for tell-tale phrases such as "one-off investment opportunities", "free pension review", "legal loopholes", "cash bonus", or "government endorsement". Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: "Anyone who is approached by a company they're unsure about should do some research into the firm and be careful not to rush into any decisions."

What should I do if I've been targeted by crooks?

For help, call the Pensions Advisory Service on 0345 601 2923, or visit pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk. You should report a pensions scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or at actionfraud.police.uk.

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