Pensions Freedom - Let's All Be ScamSmart.
The financial services industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) continually issues reminders to consumers to be aware of scammers trying to trick us when looking at pension transfers, pensions freedom and flexibility and of course, during and after the coronvirus pendemic when people were perhaps in greater need of money urgently.
The FCA warns that consumers should:
The FCA has also provided a fraud warning checklist, which wiill flag any firm that is operating a clone website and also those who are not authorised in the UK. If you have been offered a possible investment opportunity, the website will explain the possible negative points to any investment or option.
Consumers are recommended to seek financial advice before selecting investments. The regulator suggests that consumers lose around £20,000 on average when scammed.
It has happened in the past and no doubt it will happen in the future that firms pretending to be legitimate financial advisers or pension companies may call you to discuss your pension arrangements. If it's a 'cold call' give them the 'cold shoulder'.
You should be aware that regulated financial companies are not allowed to make cold calls and if you receive such a call you should be on your guard immediately.
Martin Wheatley, fomer chief executive of the FCA said at the time of launch: “Our ScamSmart campaign sets out the straightforward steps people can take to protect themselves and number one this if you get cold called about an investment opportunity, hangup.”
We suggest that you should take your life savings i.e. your pension fund and its well-being extremely seriously. In many cases, your pension fund can be worth a number of thousands of pounds and when you compare it to a motor vehicle, which we often do on this website, you would never leave your car unlocked nor would you hand over the keys to a total stranger on the strength of a telephone call received from them out of the blue. Your pension fund is hard earned money, look after it.
If you wish to know more about flexible pensions drawdown and pension transfers then please contact our team of expert financial advisers and we will explain all of your options as part of our free consultation service.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a website to help consumers identify and avoid possible investment scams. Using funds that have been recovered from crime, the FCA set up Scamsmart, a website that will help you spot possible investment scams, it also encourages you to reject cold calls about investments.
Please read the Financial Conduct Authority’s online ‘Scamsmart – Avoid investment and pension scams’ information and the Government’s ‘Pension scam s’ booklet, before making any decision about transferring your pension benefits a:
You should also take a look at The Pension Regulator's (TPR) guide to scams: