UK Pension scams soared by 400% last month. Coronavirus is creating favourable conditions for scammers who prey on the vulnerable people and take advantage of panic, uncertainty and financial strain.
If you are thinking of transferring you UK pension, ensure you read this useful advice to avoid financial fraud:
If you receive a call you weren’t expecting highlighting a once in a lifetime opportunity offering stable and very high investment returns it is probably a scam
Do not communicate with cold callers who want to discuss your pension plans either by phone, text, email or social media
Be careful if someone is offering youa ‘free pensions advice’ or a ‘free pension review’ before you reach 55
Do not rush into making important pensions decisions – pressure selling is a sign of financial scams
Make sure your pensions advisors are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority
The latest report from Action Fraud sees a 400% increase in scams relating to Coronavirus in March with total losses reaching £970,000. In addition to online shopping fraud, romance fraud, charity and lender fraud, some phishing emails contained investment schemes and pensions advice.
Fraudsters are pressuring people to transfer their entire UK pension savings into ‘safer’ financial options in order to protect from future economic depression, employer insolvency or to be able to access them earlier.
Scammers also often charge extremely high transfer fees, decimating your retirement prospects.
The UK Pension Regulator has released a special Covid-19 Update for pension fund trustees. The update urges trustees to be more vigilant about pension scams.
The Pensions Regulator is also launching new guidance to help employers freeze their defined benefit obligations for 3 months to ease their financial burden in response to the economic fallout from Covid-19.