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Pension information sold to fraudsters


Financial firms are selling data about people’s pension information to fraudsters and cold calling firms, according to report by the Daily Mail.

Data which carries information in regards to peoples salaries, investment values and pension size is reportedly being sold for as little as 5p without peoples prior knowledge. Concerns have been expressed that this information could be used to scam pensioners out of their savings when they are able to access them in full in April.

The pension changes mean that people aged 55 years old or older can withdraw money from any Defined Contribution pension scheme, subject to tax. About 300,000 people are likely to take advantage of these changes, and industry experts have been constantly warning people about the dangers of scams.

The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, who deals with freedom of information and protection of personal data, has now begun an investigation into the matter, in partnership with the Pensions Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and the police. He has called these claims “very serious”.

The Information Commissioners Office has the power to issue fines of up to £500,000 for the most serious breaches and can suggest criminal prosecutions around unlawfully obtaining or accessing personal data.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned savers to be on guard when the pension reforms come into place, especially against unsolicited approaches from financial companies.

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