Scams – new warnings issued
Financial scams are continually being reported in the media and can have a devastating effect on the lives of savers.
Data released by the Financial Conduct Authority1, reveals there were £197 million of reported losses in 2018. That figure could be substantially higher as this just relates to those frauds that were reported. Many people feel too embarrassed and shocked to reveal what has happened to them.
Despite the recent implementation of the ban on unsolicited phone calls, members of the public are still being urged to remain alert, as scammers are likely to change tack and find alternative ways of making contact.
SPOTTING THE SIGNS
It pays to be wary of anyone who contacts you out of the blue offering a “free pension review“. If this happens, then alarm bells should sound. Another sign to look out for is anyone offering to free up your pension pot before the age of 55; this is a common tactic used by fraudsters.
Callers who encourage you to take out a large sum of money, or worse still, the whole of your pension in one go, and want to invest this on your behalf could also be operating a scam. The chances are that what they’re offering you is an unauthorised or non-existent investment, meaning that you’re highly likely to lose all your hard-earned cash, and wouldn’t be eligible for compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TAKE ADVICE
If you’re thinking of making an important financial decision, it pays to take financial advice. If you receive an unwanted approach from an unknown caller about your pension, you can report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
1FCA, Feb 2019
A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested.