Pension scams are on the increase in the UK. Scammers will try to entice you with a ‘free pension review’, ‘one-off investment opportunity’ or ‘legal loophole’.
If you’re under age 55, you cannot release your pension unless you are in ill health. If you are over 55, you can release funds from your pension from April 2015. You may still be at risk from scammers.
With the changes to the pension system that will allow people to access their pension pot coming into force this month, the Financial Conduct Authority is urging people to be ScamSmart and on the look-out for dodgy investment scams.
The FCA is launching the next wave of their ScamSmart campaign that highlights the warning signs consumers need to be aware of from scammers who want to trick people into investing their hard earned cash.
The new pension flexibilities mean thousands of people will be making vital decisions about their retirement, and this can be the very moment that unscrupulous fraudsters will offer investments with high returns. The FCA wants would-be investors to:
- Reject cold calls – investment scammers will often cold call
- Check the FCA Warning List
- Get impartial advice
Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA said:
“The new pension flexibilities will offer people the freedom to make choices that suit their plans for retirement. But this is exactly the time when people need to be alert to the dangers of scammers offering opportunities that are too good to be true.
“Our ScamSmart campaign sets out the straightforward steps people can take to protect themselves and number one is if you get cold called about an investment opportunity, hang up.
“Any decision about your retirement is important, start off on the strongest footing by being aware of possible scams.”