A pension scam often starts with being unexpectedly contacted by an individual or they may be introduced to you by someone you trust who is unknowingly being scammed. Scammers will make false claims to gain your trust, for example:
- Claiming they are from or authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or that they don’t have to be FCA authorised because they aren’t providing the advice themselves,
- Claiming to be acting on the behalf of the FCA or the government service Pension Wise,
- Claiming they are from or acting on behalf of The Pensions Regulator.
Scammers can design attractive offers to persuade you to transfer your Retirement Savings to them or to release funds from it. It is then often:
- Invested in unusual and high-risk investments like overseas property, renewable energy bonds, forestry, storage units,
- Invested in more conventional products but within an unnecessarily complex structure which hides multiple fees and high charges,
- Stolen outright.
Common pension scams include:
- Early pension release,
- Offer of a free pension review.