Pension savers scammed out of over £30m since 2017

Pension savers have lost over £30m to scammers since April 2017, according to complaints data from Action Fraud.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) revealed that savers have claimed £30,857,329 lost to scams with the nation fraud reporting centre in just over three years.

The regulators warned that the true number of victims is likely to me much higher, as savers fail to spot the signs of a scam and are unaware of how much is in their pension pots.

Men in their 50s were the most likely to fall victim to pension fraudsters, with the amount of savings lost ranging from under £1,000 to £500,000.

“Scammers wreck lives and no matter how big or small your savings are, every pot is a target,” commented TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell.

“It may seem tempting to make a change to your pension fund now, but it is important not to rush.

“Before making any decision about your pension, take your time, and visit the ScamSmart website to always check who you are dealing with.”

The FCA and TPR have launched a campaign focusing on football fans, following research that found 43 per cent of supporters do not know how much is in their pension pot and 45 per cent do not know how to check whether an approach about their pension is legitimate.

As part of its ScamSmart campaign, the regulators have teamed up with football commentator, Clive Tyldesley, to raise awareness amongst football fans.

“Scammers are very good at breaking down your defences and putting you under pressure with various deadlines,” said Tyldesley.

“But your pension is not a football transfer – there are no deadlines. Your favourite team would not buy a new striker just because his agent says he is good. They would ask around, check out his stats, do some research – just like you should when handling your pension plans."

The research from Censuswide also found that football fans were likely to be overconfident in their ability to avoid scams, with 65 per cent of respondents saying that they would be confident in spotting a scam approach, but 39 per cent would engage with a common scam tactic when approached.

“During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to defend your lifetime savings from scammers,” said FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward.

“Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much or how little you have saved.

“You can check the status of a firm before changing your pension by visiting the FCA register, and get advice from an FCA authorised firm before making any changes to your pension.”

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