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Scam victims lose more than £1m each to fraudsters

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28/01/2019
Two people have lost more than £1m in pension savings to fraudsters, new data reveals.

The two unnamed individuals reported their losses to Action Fraud, which found victims of pension scams lost £91,000 on average to fraudsters in 2017.

Victims reported receiving cold-calls, offers of free pension reviews and promises that they would get high rates of return – which are all warning signs of scams.

A ban on pension cold calling came into force earlier this month, with firms breaking the rules facing penalties of up to £500,000.

Nicola Parish, The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) executive director of frontline regulation, said: “Victims of scams are often traumatised by what has happened to them and many inevitably are left questioning how they are going to afford to retire.

“The average loss of a victim is £91,000 but these Action Fraud reports show that people can also lose much, much more.

“However large your pension pot, you must be vigilant and able to spot and avoid a scam.”

Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, said: “These statistics prove that the consequences of falling victim to a pension scam can be devastating.

“Victims can lose their life savings and are left facing retirement with little or no income.

“This is why it’s so important that you are vigilant if you receive an offer about your pension out of the blue and that you check who you are dealing with.

“If you think you have been a victim of pension fraud, please report it to us.”

Victims of pension scams can report them to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 12302040.

Four ways to protect yourself from pension scams

  • Reject unexpected pension offers whether made online, on social media or over the phone.
  • Check who you’re dealing with before changing your pension arrangements – check the FCA Register or call the FCA contact centre on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm you are dealing with is authorised by the FCA.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making any decision about your pension.
  • Consider getting impartial information and guidance from TPAS on 0800 011 3797.

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