Schemes should deepen familiarity with members to combat scams - PSIG

Pension schemes should be more familiar with their members so that they can spot any unusual behaviour, Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG) chair, Margaret Snowdon, has stated.

Speaking at The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) combat pension scams 2023 webinar, Snowdon identified the cost-of-living crisis as an “opportunity” for scammers as savers become more interested in getting the most out of their pots.

To combat this, Snowdon called for schemes to “get to know” their members better so that any “unusual” behaviour by them could be flagged and reported.

To achieve this familiarity with members, Snowden recommended two methods, namely “having good data and regularly getting in touch”.

“This closer relationship to members is more expensive to provide but it beats scammers at their own game”, she continued.

Whilst Snowdon warned that this approach would be more costly, she additionally stated that “it can avoid us having bigger costs in the future” as there would be no need to spend time and money proving a lack of negligence.

It is not just identifying scams that was emphasised by Snowdon as she also stressed the importance of communication with members, stating that “if we think we see a scam we should call it out and explain our concerns to members in words they can understand”.

Snowdon additionally emphasised this approach as a joint venture, arguing that “we really are all in this together” as “if reports are not made, we will never get the resources to pursue scammers”.

Additionally, Snowdon said that she was “hopeful” for the development of a “one-stop shop” for pension scam victims through the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) but that, at this point in time, schemes should be signposting victims towards MaPS for support as well as encouraging them to report to Action Fraud.

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