Victims of pension scammers lost an average £91,000: UK regulators

Pension scam victims lost £91,000 each on average last year, according to new figures from the City watchdog and the pensions regulator.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have teamed up to launch the ScamSmart advertising campaign, which is aimed at pension holders aged between 45 and 65 as they are most at risk of losing their cash.

According to the regulators, highly sophisticated scammers lure people into transferring their pensions into fraudulent schemes. Victims of pension scams can lose their life savings, and be left facing retirement with limited income.

A total of 253 victims reported to Action Fraud that they had lost more than £23m to pension scammers in 2017, equating to an average loss of £91,000 per victim.

“£91,000 is a huge amount of money for someone approaching their retirement to suddenly have ripped from their savings.”

“If someone cold calls you about your pension, it’s probably an attempt to steal your savings. Our message is clear – hang up and report it,” Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation, TPR, said.

Cold calling is the most common method of pension fraud, despite it being two years since the government announced a ban to protect savers.

The new rules were supposed to start in June this year but have been delayed until this autumn.

Campaigners are calling for an immediate ban on pensions cold-calling due to the amount that has been stolen since freedoms were announced. (continues…)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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