Savers have been scammed out of over £51 million by investment fraudsters between April and June this year, new figures from the City of London Police reveal.
The figures show a 70% spike in investment fraud reported to the authorities when comparing the numbers from the same months in 2017, when fraud accounted for £30m. In 2016 that number was even lower, at £24m.
“Every year thousands of people fall victim to investment scammers, with pensions – usually the most significant financial asset someone will have available to them – often the target,” Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said in a statement.
Pensions scams can have devastating consequences and cold calling is the most common method used to initiate pensions scams, so the government has taken the time to ensure the ban works for consumers,’ Glen said.
The UK government had pledged to introduce a cold-call ban in June as that is the most common method used to initiate pensions scams. The promise has however been delayed, with Treasury stating that the long-awaited rules have been pushed back until autumn.
“Indeed, these recent figures suggest the problem could be getting worse rather than better, yet the Government continues to prevaricate over introducing a ban on pensions cold-calling that was first announced in November 2016.
“While ministers delay, millions of hard-working savers are at greater risk of being targeted by financial fraudsters”, Selby added. [continues…]
A staggering £166 million in investment fraud losses were reported in 2017/18, with the average fraud victim aged 57, as the chart shows.
Royal London director of policy Sir Steve Webb said the government had “chosen a good day to bury bad news” in admitting the delay, noting it had opted for the day both the Brexit white paper was published and Donald Trump’s visit to the UK began.
“Nobody doubts that if this issue was a real priority for the government, a ban would already be in place right now,” he said. “The repeated delays mean yet more innocent people will be scammed out of their life savings by crooks who ring them up out of the blue with persuasive offers and pressure sales techniques.
“It is understandable that the government is embarrassed by this delay, but now they need to pull out all the stops to get this legislation through and in force.”