Henley CAB has issued a warning to pensioners about scammers targeting their pension savings in the wake of the new pension rules.
Five types of scams have been reported:
- Pension “transfers”: Scammers charge pensioners high fees for moving their pensions but nothing happens; or the money is moved without their permission; or, if the pensioner agrees to the transfer, the money vanishes or is transferred to fraudulent schemes.
- Pension savings become “investments”: People are told that they can get more out of their savings by investing in goods like wine, or “revolutionary” new products or projects.
- Pension “advice”: Scammers offer ‘”free” pension advice or a review of the victim’s savings, which can cost money and be useless, or might just be a cover for obtaining crucial personal details.
- Pensioners are offered services for a fee. In some cases no service is provided at all. In others, a service is provided but it is either expensive or not in the consumer’s best interest.
Contacting people by email or telephone, scammers persuade victims to hand over personal data like their National Insurance number and bank account details. Sometimes the scammers will use information they already have, such as name of the victim’s employer or pension provider.
Pension scam advice
- Inform someone else about a possible scam, an unsolicited phone call or text, or offer of money.
- Never give out your bank details or send money unless you are certain you can trust the person who has asked you to do this.
- Don’t feel pressured to make a decision straight away. Take your time.
- Seek advice by calling the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506
- Report a potential scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
People approaching retirement with a defined contribution pension pot will be able to get face-to-face help from a Pension Wise expert in their local Citizens Advice Bureau. Make an appointment by phoning Adviceline on 03444 111444 or dropping in to the bureau. For CAB opening hours, see www.caox.org.uk
Alternatively, visit the government’s Pension Wise website or telephone 030 0330 1001.