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One in eight over-50s targeted by liberation fraudsters

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One in eight people aged over 50 has been approached by fraudsters offering early access to their pension pot, according to research from Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

The firm said criminals were targeting people around retirement age in a bid to take advantage of confusion caused by changes to the pension system announced in the Budget.

It commissioned a survey of more than 900 over-50s, which found that 17 per cent of people aged 50 to 59 had been approached by fraudsters and 11 per cent of those 60 and above had been targeted.

While the majority (61 per cent) identified the scam, more than a quarter (27 per cent) did not immediately spot the fraud and one in eight (12 per cent) trusted the advice and wanted to learn more.

Fidelity said its research also revealed a “distinct misunderstanding” of the rules governing access to pension pots with more than with more than two thirds (68 per cent) saying they did not know what the restrictions on early access were.

Fidelity retirement director Alan Higham (pictured) said: “While fraudsters have always sniffed around pension savings, the changes set to come into effect next April have created some confusion among consumers.

“Some understand the rules as equating to immediate access without any caveats and can become very frustrated when they view providers as ‘holding on’ to their money unfairly.

“Fraudulent organisations have capitalised on this sentiment, encouraging consumers to hand over their savings without fully understanding the tax penalties incurred.”

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