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Citizens Advice: Be aware of pension scams


People over aged 55 are continually being targeted with cold calls and emails from criminals looking to access their pensions funds, according to money charity Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice has claimed that two in five Citizens Advice pensions staff have seen people repeatedly targeted by pension scammers, and one in 10 say they have seen someone fall victim to this kind of scam.

Citizens Advice employees also believe that pension scams are evolving, with scammers posing as investors and targeting the cash lump sums people can now release from their pension pots.

Scammers are most likely to contact people via cold calls, followed by emails. Scammers also used post and text messages to contact potential victims, so savers must stay vigilant for all kinds of communication.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Pension scams threaten people’s financial security. People are being targeted again and again with bogus investment offers or fraudulent pension opportunities.
“Opportunistic fraudsters are finding new ways to go after people’s pension pots including offering free pension reviews and promising to invest in funds that don't necessarily exist.
“Pension and investment scams are particularly dangerous as they can destroy people’s entire pension pot, leaving them with little or no savings for retirement. We will be monitoring pension scams closely in order to track how they are evolving, and warn consumers what to look out for. If you’ve had an offer or signed up to a scheme you’re unsure about, contact Citizens Advice for support.”

Citizens Advice offers these tips on how to avoid being scammed:
• Never be rushed into making a decision
• Check if the company contacting you is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or The Pensions Regulator
• If you are unsure, contact The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 or contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06
• Look at the FCA’s Scamsmart warning list, which gives the names of investment schemes that are known scams.
• If you have already accepted an offer you think is a scam, report it to Action Fraud

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If you have any personal finance questions related to this news article, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by asking a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245, or by arranging a visit.

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