Cold calling pension scammers move online

Pensioners are three times more likely to be targeted by fraudulent financial advisers, usually through the internet, than a cold calling phone scammer, according to data seen by Telegraph Money.

The cold calling ban has seen a fall in the number of pension scams via telephone, but consumers remain at risk from rogue financial advisers online.

A study looking into pensioners that had moved a total of 27,000 final salary pension pots, worth £1.3bn, found that 52 per cent of the concerns pension firms raised with members were regarding the people who advised them in moving their savings.

In comparison, only 12 per cent of the concerns raised were linked to cold calling, as some scammers switched their telephone scams to online, through adverts, websites and e-mails.

The Telegraph also revealed that a 55 year-old man from south Wales, Robert McCarthy, lost £34,000 to a scammer who convinced him to invest his pension pot in ‘store pod’ storage units.

However, this turned out to be fraudulent and McCarthy is now one of 176 people involved in a “multi-million pound claim against Berkeley Burke, led by law firm Hugh James”, claiming that it failed to assess investments linked to unregulated “introducer” firms.

Commenting on his experience, McCarthy said: “He said it had already made between 12 per cent and 20 per cent for pensioners, and asked me about my pension. He told me since the financial crisis I had already lost £5,000 and would lose the same next year and the year after, and that these store pods were guaranteed to make money.”

Insolvency Service official receiver of its public interest unit, Ken Beasley warned: “Check who you are dealing with, avoid being rushed or pressured into making decisions and seek out impartial advice before going ahead with any pension transfer.”

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