Exclusive: Help & Advice launches free pension scam predictor tool

Not-for-profit enterprise, Help & Advice, has launched a free pension scam predictor tool to help savers approached about a pension transfer check whether it may be fraudulent.

If they have been approached about a transfer, the saver can answer a series of questions and the tool will give them a percentage score as to how likely the approach is a scam.

The tool also identifies what the red flags were in the given answers and what should be done if a scam is suspected.

"The origins of the tool came about as we saw so much in the press, TV and radio about pension scams,” commented Help & Advice co-founder, James Lloyd.

“Beginning to realise how sophisticated scammers were becoming, and then having investigated the ease of external support that was available, we thought a simple tool, that anyone could use, could be a great sense check before they proceed with a transfer.”

Help & Advice’s tool asks questions related to tactics that a pension scammer may use to try and persuade savers to transfer their pensions.

It looks at the process the adviser used to engage with the saver and provides guidance on what online tools the individual can use to check the legitimacy of a business.

Furthermore, it analyses the language used by the adviser, particularly trigger words and phrases related to, for example, ‘guarantees’.

Once the saver has answered the tool’s questions, they are assessed using a scoring algorithm to provide a scam likelihood score.

Lloyd added: "With the obvious exception of individuals, the tool has been designed with trustees and employers in mind. Everyone is conscious about pension scams and ensuring their pension scheme members are making responsible decisions.  

“Therefore, we wanted to provide employers and trustees with access to a free tool they could direct their members to use, and sense check the decision they are making.

“In our view it helps add another layer of risk protection for trustees, the employer and of course the member."

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