One in four savers at risk of a pension scam

One in four (25 per cent) savers could be at risk of a pension scam, analysis from has found, revealing that a quarter of the 1562 people that completed the Pension Scam Assessments had associated red flags.

In particular, the research found that almost one in five (17 per cent) people were told that they could achieve higher investment returns should they transfer, which HelpandAdvice suggested could be in response to the market volatility seen in Q4 of 2022.

Pushing people to make a quick decision was also found to be a common red flag, with 15 per cent of people experiencing this.

In addition to this, nearly one in 10 (9 per cent) of savers were told the adviser knew of loopholes to access higher levels of tax-free cash, which HelpandAdvice flagged as a "substantial increase" on the previous quarter, when only 2 per cent were told this. Saq Hussain, stated: “Pension scammers are opportunistic and often one step ahead, changing their tactics and the way they engage people depending on the current situation.

"With the government announcing that the UK is to ban all cold calls selling financial products as part of a crackdown on scams, we sincerely hope that these practices finally come to an end and people are properly protected.

“Our year long analysis gives some insight into some of the fraudulent activity that the
government is trying to stop, and how this is evolving over time, with this past quarter seeing almost a fifth of people lured with the promise of achieving higher investment returns, perhaps in response to the volatility we saw in the latter part of 2022, and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

“This quarter also saw the highest ever number of Pension Scam Assessments completed, a sign hopefully that people are becoming more scam aware and realising they need help identifying red flags before they make a decision that could have disastrous consequences."

The Pension Scam Assessment Tool, recommended by MoneyHelper, was developed to help anyone considering a pension transfer. The tool takes savers through 20 straight forward questions relating to the tactics that a pension scammer might use, before displaying a likelihood of the pension transfer being a scam, listing the red flags and explanations.

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