Have you received potentially fraudulent sales calls, emails and junk mail about your pension? We’ve found that one in three people over 55 has – would you ever trust a cold caller?
It’s shocking that so many people have already been targeted by cold callers about their pension. After all, it’s just six weeks after reforms were introduced to give you much more control over your pension savings.
But how confident are you at being able to spot a scam? Many of those we spoke to admitted they weren’t sure they could spot a genuine investment and four in 10 worried they could be scammed.
How will the scammers try to trick you?
So how are these scammers going to try and fool you? Most commonly we found they offered investment opportunities or a free pension review, or said they could unlock your pension or would let you get your pension pot early.
The most common approach was by telephone – so be on your guard if you get a cold call. Contact by email and post were also high up the list.
Two in five people were contacted in the months before the reforms began (1 January to April 6 this year) – that’s double the number who said they were contacted in the whole of 2014.
How do I avoid the pension scammers?
A fifth of all over-55s had been contacted directly by someone offering an investment opportunity, but only half of non-retired over-55s felt confident in identifying a legitimate pension investment.
Here are some of the sales tactics that should set alarm bells ringing:
- You’re approached out of the blue over the phone, via text or in person door-to-door
- You’re asked to transfer money overseas
- You’re promised you can access your pension before you’re 55
- No copies of documentation have been provided
- You’re encouraged to speed up transfer of your money to the new scheme
- A salesmen uses phrases such as ‘one-off investment opportunities’, ‘free pension review’, ‘legal loopholes’, ‘cash bonus’, or ‘government endorsement’
We want the Government and regulators to do more to warn people about these types of tricks and do all they can to stamp out the sharks behind them.
Has someone ever tried to sell you a dodgy pension product? Do you feel confident that you’d know how to invest your pension pot and how to spot a pension scam?