Pensions scams and fraud – how to avoid them | Age 51Թapp


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Pensions scams and fraud

Everyone aged 55 and over can access their workplace pension. Unfortunately, there are criminals who want to take advantage of this. We've brought together some tips to help you keep your pension pot safe. 

How do I spot a pension scam?

There are many different ways that criminals may try to steal your pension. These scams could mean you lose some or even all of your pension, so it's important to watch out for the following:

Opportunities that sound too good to be true

Fraudsters may contact you and claim to know about loopholes that can help you get more than the usual 25% of your pension pot tax-free. Or they may offer high returns from overseas investments. They may offer you a ‘loan’, ‘saving advance’ or ‘cashback’ from your pension or talk about new or creative investments.

Offers of 'pension reviews'

Scammers may say they'll help you access your pension pot before the age of 55 in exchange for a fee – but unless you're seriously unwell or have a certain type of scheme, this isn’t possible.

Someone pressuring you to make a decision quickly

Some fraudsters may contact you out of the blue, either over the phone, text or email. Others could send paperwork to your door by courier requiring an immediate signature. But you should never feel pressured into making a decision quickly and you should always seek professional advice before doing so.

Pressure to put all your money in a single investment

In most cases, financial advisers will suggest that you spread your money across different schemes. So if you're contacted by someone who suggests that you put all of your pension pot money into a single investment, then this is probably a scam.

Untraceable companies

Legitimate companies or professionals should have traceable contact details. One sign that the person or company who's contacted you is trying to scam you is that they only have a mobile phone number or a PO box address as contact details.

Phone icon Did you know nuisance calls about pensions are illegal?

If you receive a cold call about your pension, you can report it to the Information Commissioner's Office online or by calling 0303 123 1113.

How can I avoid pension scams?

There are things that you can do to help avoid pension scams:

  • Stay calm: If you get calls offering early access to your pension, don't feel rushed or pressured to respond.
  • Don't commit: Always seek advice before making decisions.
  • Stop the call: If you feel pressured or if the caller won't take no for an answer, end the conversation. Don't be embarrassed to put the phone down.
  • Listen to your doubts: If you think an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What should I do if I think I've been scammed?

Anyone can be scammed, and there's support available if you think you've been scammed:

  • : Contact Action fraud to report a scam, or get more advice of scams and fraud.
  • : Visit their website to check whether a company is authorised or to view their Warning List of unautorised companies.

There are also organisations that can help you understand more about pension scams and fraud:

  • : Keep up to date with the latest investment scams and fraud.
  • : Get independent pension advice through the Pension Wise service from MoneyHelper.

Find out more about what support is available if you've been scammed

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age 51Թapps.

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Last updated: Apr 08 2024

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