Warning over cold call pension scams
Angus Adult Protection Committee Financial Harm Sub Committee is advising residents to be on the alert for pension scams.
In what can be a lucrative source of income for the scammer, it’s understood that the average loss incurred by a single pension fraud can be more than £90,000, although far higher sums have been stolen. UK-wide in 2017, it was estimated that losses to this particular type of scam were around £10 million. But the true figure could have been far higher given that unwarranted shame and embarrassment leaves some victims reluctant to report incidents. Mark Hodgkinson, Angus Council’s Adult Protection and Review Officer said: “In one recent incident, scammers managed to get 22 years’ worth of pension savings from one person within 24 hours. It is alarming that many pension holders still seem willing to discuss their pension details with someone who calls them out of the blue.
“The impact is severe and potentially ruinous, both financially and emotionally. It is an absolute tragedy to learn that people who have worked hard all their lives have been scammed out of all their pension savings within the space of a day.”
Independent Financial Advisor, Martin Mayo added: “Angus people over 50 years old are at serious risk from pension scams and it is not just vulnerable people who are at risk. In fact, research tells us that it is often more highly educated people who are proving to be at the highest risk.
The following steps are also invaluable in the fight against the scammer –
· Reject any unexpected pension offers made online, on social media, by post or over the phone.
· Check who you are dealing with before changing your pension arrangements by checking the register of the Financial Conduct Authority.
· Never be rushed into making any decision about your pension.
· Always get independent financial advice before taking any decisions about your pension.
If you know of anyone who might be at risk of financial harm you can make a referral to the Angus Financial Abuse Support Team (FAST) on 03452 777 778. You can also follow the Angus Financial Harm Sub Committee on Twitter @scamfreeangus