7th August 2015
Fraudsters targeting pension funds are increasingly offering savers the chance to put money into investment scams, according to Citizens Advice.
A survey by the consumer charity shows 40% of people working for the group had spoken to individuals who had been repeatedly targeted by fraudsters and 10% of workers said they had spoken to people who had responded to, or fallen victim to, scammers.
Pre-pension freedoms scams would have concentrated on ‘liberating’ pension money but now individuals can get their hands on their cash, fraudsters are targeting cash lump sums by trying to encourage retirees to access their pension and invest in another scam.
Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive, said: ‘Opportunistic fraudsters are finding new ways to go after people’s pension pots including offering free pension reviews and promising to invest in funds that don’t necessarily exist.
‘Pension and investment scams are particularly dangerous as they can destroy people’s entire pension pot, leaving them with little or no savings for retirement.’
She said the charity will be monitoring pension scams ‘in order to track how they are evolving’.
Harriett Baldwin, City minister, said: ‘We are working tirelessly to shut down illegal scams and bring scammers to justice. We’ve already made it illegal to imitate Pension Wise, are running scams awareness campaigns and have set up the Financial Conduct Authority which has the power to prosecute scammers.’
Scammers are most likely to contact people over the phone, with 80% of individuals contacted this year. One in three were approached by email or post and another 20% had first been approached by text message.