With the influx of pension scams currently circulating the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority/The Pensions Regulator have collaborated to provide the ScamSmart pension campaign: a dedicated service to create awareness of scams and provide resources to avoid them.
New analysis conducted by the collaboration shows that scam victims can lose an average of 22 years’ worth of savings in a mere 24 hours. According to their research, the more highly educated a person is, the more likely it is for them to fall for a pension scam.
The research found that highly educated people have a higher probability of falling for pension scams. University degree holders are 40% more likely to accept free pension reviews from unknown companies and are also 21% more likely to accept offers to access their pensions early; both of which are common scam tactics.
Overconfidence was found to be one of the biggest causes to savers missing the signs of a scam. And one in four people admit to taking just 24 hours or less to decide on pension offers. This lack of time to process and consider the company and their offer is another significant contributing factor as to why some savers fail to identify the signs of a scam.
With the devastating impacts pension fraud can have on its victims, the regulators are warning savers to be aware and keep alert for any signs of a scam, to take the time to consider all aspects of the offer, and to verify who they are dealing with prior to making any decisions regarding their pensions.
Employers can help staff keep away from pension scams by sharing some of The Pensions Regulator’s resources on their website, and the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart page, which has quizzes on spotting pension scams as well as a warning list that you can use to check whether the offer you’ve been given is a verified scam.
The collaboration offers four key steps to avoid pension scams. Firstly, reject any unexpected pension offers, whether it’s in person, over the phone, online or through social media. Secondly, check who you’re dealing with before changing your current pension arrangements. Visit ScamSmart or call the FCA on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm contacting you is authorised. Thirdly, take your time and don’t allow anyone to pressure you into making decisions about your pension. Lastly, consider getting impartial information and advice.
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