Coronavirus (Covid-19): A major event like coronavirus can initiate new types of scam activity. Find out about potential scams, how they could affect you, and how to protect yourself.
Unfortunately, one of the negative consequences of pension freedoms has been a sharp rise in fraudulent schemes seeking to part investors from their pension funds. Many of these fraudsters can be convincing and persistent; with many individuals seeing a lifetime of pension saving disappear.
In the first instance you should always talk to your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one in your area by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk and reading reviews of financial advisers by visiting www.vouchedfor.co.uk
Please note the Embark Group and its subsidiaries are not responsible for the content of external websites and bear in mind, you might be charged for any financial advice you receive.
There are also some useful tools available to help you safeguard against fraud and scammers and we feel as a good starting point you should ask yourself five simple questions.
An offer that’s too good to be true often means that it is. Carry out research on the named individual/company before signing over… An offer of investments guaranteeing returns or incredibly high returns are usually warning signs
As one of your most valuable assets, decisions regarding your pension investments should be extensively thought through. Take your time, don’t rush into making any decisions and read through all documentation. If unsure about the financials, then always seek advice from a regulated financial adviser
If you withdraw money from your pension to take advantage of an investment opportunity, you could face additional tax charges. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the pension plan you’re invested in and any future investments you make.
Ensure you don’t get stung by tax charges or loss of money by accessing your pension early – make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the plan you have invested in. You can’t access your pension savings before you’re 55, unless you are ill and unable to work, or you have a protected early retirement age
Trust your instincts! Cold calls, emails and texts are not only more than likely to be illegitimate; they may well be illegal. The offer of free a free review or service may be tempting, but it could be part of a scam – along with high commission rates. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
How do I know if I’ve been a potential victim?
The following list may indicate fraudulent activity:
If you feel that you have carried out ANY of the above points then please inform the police via Action Fraud (https://actionfraud.police.uk/).
Falling foul of a scam could mean you lose some or all of your money. See www.pension-scams.com or www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart for more information. Additionally, visit Take Five https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/; a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud
You are also entitled to free, impartial advice on your options from the Government Service Pension Wise. Pension Wise provides assistance and details of the options available to you in respect of your pension savings. You can access this online at www.pensionwise.gov.uk, over the telephone on 0800 138 3944, or face to face through the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Pension Wise should not be seen as a substitute for full regulated advice.