Warning over cold callers offering fraudulent pension ‘opportunities’
PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 08:33 09 September 2015
People over the age of 55 are being harassed with cold calls and emails offering fraudulent pension opportunities, warns Ipswich Citizens Advice.
Figures show that two in five Citizens Advice pensions staff across England and Wales have seen people targeted repeatedly with pension scams.
A further one in ten met with people who had either responded or fallen prey to a scam.
Half of all local Citizens Advice pension workers think that pension scams are evolving into investment scams, targeting the cash lump sums people can release from their pension pots. A third of staff from across the service think that scams targeting the over 55s have increased.
Nicky Willshere, manager at Ipswich Citizens Advice, said: “Pension scams threaten people’s financial security. Scammers are finding new ways to go after people’s pension pots including offering free pension reviews and promising to invest in funds that don’t necessarily exist.
“If you’ve had an offer or signed up to a pension scheme you’re unsure about, I urge you to contact Ipswich Citizens Advice where our staff can offer free help and support.”
Emerging scams seen by Citizens Advice include:
- Unspecified financial products: People are asked by fraudsters to give them access to their pension pots, who would then invest them into financial products on their behalf.
- Free pension reviews: People are texted or cold-called with offers of a free pension review.
The caller then asks to visit the person in their own home, bringing paperwork that would allow them to get access to their pension details.
- Investments for pension cash: People are approached with offers to invest their pension cash into products such as property overseas or fine wines.
The full survey of more than 460 local Citizens Advice managers, staff, volunteers and Pension Wise guiders also finds that people are most likely to be contacted by cold call, followed by email.
Of those who saw people who had been contacted by scammers, four in five said they were contacted by a phone call.
For guidance on avoiding scams, visit Ipswich Citizens Advice or go to: www.pensionwise.gov.uk
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