Guest comment: The importance of vigilance against pension scams

Despite investigating scams for 25 years, it’s still possible to be surprised by the depths fraudsters will go to.

Scams come in a variety of guises, although many share tell-tale warning signs. One of the most pernicious is recovery room fraud, also known as secondary scamming.

Whatever the name, its important pension savers are on guard. These scams see criminals, often posing as a trustworthy organisation, approach those who have already been scammed.

The callous crooks offer to help get the saver’s money back. But only in return for an upfront fee. They then fail to make good on their ‘promises’.

Anyone who receives an unexpected call about their pension – even if it appears to come from a genuine source – should hang up and report the call to Action Fraud. Reputable callers won’t ask for money upfront to pay for their services.

Savers can find more information on protecting themselves from scams at fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

Schemes also have a pivotal part to play in the fight against scammers.

In my career as an investigator I’ve seen how important good quality intelligence is in effectively tackling scammers.

If schemes fail to report instances of pension fraud or attempted scams to Action Fraud, or by calling 101 in Scotland, it ties investigators’ hands.

I’d urge trustees, providers and administrators to do everything they can to protect their savers by joining our Pledge to Combat Pensions Scams via TPR’s website.

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