Fraud guides

Pension scams

What a pension scam is

A pension scam often involves a fraudster targeting someone who has access to their pension and involves encouragement to move the funds, which may result in money being lost or unreasonable charges.

Things to look out for

Luckily, both of the types of pension scams are fairly easy to spot. They will likely begin with an unexpected phone call and a scheme that seems too good to be true.

Unexpected calls

There has been a government ban on cold calls regarding pensions so you shouldn't receive them unless you have asked them to.

Early access to funds

Someone offering a way to access your pension before you’ve reached retirement age. Remember, taking your pension early could mean you incur charges

Investment opportunities

If someone calls you out of the blue offering you an investment scheme with attractive returns for your pension pot, then it’s likely to be a scam.

Pushy 'advisors'

Where you are pressured into making a quick decision about a ‘new’ scheme or encouraged to transfer your pension quickly. 

Steps to protect yourself

If you’ve had a call about a pension scheme and you aren’t sure if it’s genuine or not, there are a few steps you can take to double check.

  1. 1

    Check if the person or company is legitimate by taking a peek at the Financial Services Register or calling the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.

  2. 2

    If the call is from a company you recognise but you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, put the phone down immediately, find the company’s phone number on their website and ring them directly.

  3. 3

    Don’t give away your financial or personal details over the phone. A legitimate scheme and company will not ask for these.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a pension scam, make sure you report it report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or use their online reporting tool.

More like this

Social engineering

Social engineering is the way fraudsters manipulate people so that they hand over personal information.

Fake emails

Fraudsters send emails pretending to be from a trusted organisation but they’re asking you to give away personal information.

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