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Pension scams are often run by intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable people with great websites. They look incredibly authentic. But don’t be fooled.
Scammers will normally make initial contact via phone, email or text out of the blue. False claims about FCA authorisation or acting on behalf of Pension Wise will be made. They want you to transfer your pension pot to them with attractive offers. Often offering free pension reviews, higher returns, cash release from your pension, ‘time-limited’ offers, over complicated structures, or long term investments (it will take several years to realise something is wrong).
Follow these simple steps to protect yourself from pension scammers:
Reject unexpected offers. Out of the blue pension opportunities are nearly always a high risk or scam. Cold calls about pensions are now illegal, so hang up and report to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office). Be wary of free pension reviews, professional advice is not free, especially coming from a company you have never dealt with.
Check the FCA register to ensure they are authorised. Check they are not a clone of a legitimate business. Check the FCA register for contact details. Not the details they give you.
Avoid being pressured and rushed. Take the time to check them out. Remember – if it sounds too good to be true then it normally is.
Get impartial advice and information from the Pensions Advisory Service (which is also free).
Please report any suspected scams to the FCA – 0800 111 6768.