Pensions Scams: The Scary Truth
Today marks Halloween 2017, a time of tricks and treats and the permission for you to scare others by wearing frightening masks and ghoulish outfits! While we like to hope that these frightening goings on are just for Halloween, it is a good time to remind pension savers of the threat of pension scammers and the fright they could give you!
The scary truth is, pension scams are very real. Scammers are clever and know all the ‘tricks’ to hook you in, offering unrealistic or non-existent offers or opportunities. They will target anyone and everyone and change their scamming methods often to appear legitimate.
Some might offer high rates of guaranteed returns or time bound investments that you would be a ‘fool to miss’, offer early access to your savings (which isn’t allowed, only is special circumstances such as ill health) and others may use genuine investment products, but the investment itself could be toxic and high risk.
It’s important to remember that if you fall victim to a pension scam, there can be significant tax penalties to pay and you could end up with little to no savings. But, like all Halloween horror stories, you can protect yourself (don’t open the locked door or go into the pitch black cellar!!)….
So here are our top tips for avoiding pension scams this Halloween:
- Be wary of the wolf in sheep’s clothing
While scammers, their websites and marketing materials may look the part, make sure that what you’re being presented with is accurate and real. They can often clone other organisations or lie about who they are.
- Do you know which witch is which?
On this occasion, more is not merrier. If there are lots of organisations involved or you’re not sure where your money is being invested, be cautious before proceeding.
- Check who’s is behind the mask
If you’re not sure who you’re really dealing with, take a step back and check with us first on 0300 123 1047. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Always check the FCA register first too, to make sure they are registered.
- Don’t let them drain your pension
Remember, your pension is a valuable asset, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re not sure about a ‘deal’ or an ‘offer’ always check with us first, we’re available Monday to Friday 9-5 on 0300 123 1047. You can also find out more tips on how to avoid scams here.
We’ve also got a dedicated online tool you can use to check out your personal situation and find out about offers you might have received, helping you to identify a potential scam and provide you with any next steps you might need; you can use the tool here