Pensions minister Ros Altmann issues warning following rise in scams

Losses from pension liberation fraud climbed to £4.7m in May, according to Action Fraud, up from £1.5m in April

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The Independent Online

The fraudsters are embracing pension freedom. After being offered a free pension review in a cold call, one potential victim was visited at work by a bogus independent financial adviser who offered the chance of investing in overseas property.

"He was armed with a glossy, legitimate-looking brochure, and said my money would be invested in a fund registered offshore," the potential victim said. Paperwork was then couriered to him asking him to sign an agreement to transfer his savings.

"I felt uncomfortable and decided it was too much of a risk," he said. "I feel lucky, though – on another day I could have easily signed those forms."

He was indeed lucky. He nearly lost his entire £90,000 pension pot to the scheme. Others have been less fortunate. Losses from pension liberation fraud climbed to £4.7m in May, according to Action Fraud, up from £1.5m in April.

Ros Altmann, the minister for pensions, said: "Criminals often lay a sophisticated trap with glossy brochures and professional websites to make them look credible. Don't fall for it."

If you suspect a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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