FCA and TPR campaign increases retirement fraud awareness

The number of people visiting the ScamSmart website increased from 31,000 in the 55 days prior to the launch of the campaign to 173,000 in the 55 days after.

The ScamSmart campaign, led by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR), was designed to increase awareness around retirement fraud.

AJ Bell senior analyst, Tom Selby commented: “The FCA and TPR deserve credit for finally taking the bull by the horns on pension fraud.

“By launching a dedicated campaign warning about the dangers of scams – including a highly effective television advert – the regulators have already helped boost awareness among consumers.”

It was also revealed that 370 pension holders warned about suspicious unauthorised schemes though the FCA’s official ‘Warning List’.

Commenting on the findings, Just Group director, Stephen Lowe highlighted that using a single, impartial pension guidance service “needs to become the social norm for it to deliver a comprehensive defence against scams and poor choices”.

He added: “The level of interest in ScamSmart offered by the FCA and TPR shows the risk of scams has not abated.”

Despite millions of adults being targeted by scammers each year, losing an average of £91,000, new research found that 52 per cent of 45-65 year olds with a pension do not believe that they will be targeted by scammers.

Seby said: “Ultimately improving engagement and understanding of scams is the most effective way to tackle the problem in the long-term.

“The research published today tells us more work still needs to be done on this front, with many people aged 45 to 65 years old still seemingly oblivious to the fact they are prime targets for pension scammers.

“Alongside the forthcoming ban on pensions cold-calling, an ongoing commitment to communicating the dangers of scams to the public should help ensure more savers are confident enough to reject the overtures of the snake-oil salesmen flogging these dodgy schemes.

“By doing this we should build financial resilience in the UK, equipping people with the essential tools and information they need to protect themselves.”

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