According to the latest figures from Action Fraud the average loss from pension scams has reached £50,949 this year.
That is more than double the typical figure of £23, 689 reported last year.
Action Fraud said the losses in each case ranged from less than £1,000 to as much as £500,000, and the real figures could be higher as many scams go unreported.
Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said:
‘Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much they have saved.
‘Check the status of a firm before making a financial decision about your pension by visiting the FCA register. Make sure you only get advice from a firm authorised by the FCA to provide advice, before making any changes to your pension arrangements.’
The FCA highlighted five common warning signs:
- Being offered a free pension review out of the blue
- Being offered guaranteed higher returns
- Being offered help to release cash from your pension, even though you are under 55
- High-pressure sales tactics – scammers may try to pressure you with ‘time-limited offers’ or send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents
- Unusual investments which tend to be unregulated and high-risk.
More information on how to avoid pension scams is available from the FCA at https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams
Internet link: FCA news