Pension Scams

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Scammers use a number of tactics to trick investors out of their savings.  Some of those tactics are set out below:

  • A cold call, text message, website pop-up or someone coming to your door offering you a 'free pension review', 'one-off investment opportunity' or 'legal loophole'
  • Convincing marketing materials that promise you returns of over 8% on your investment

  • Paperwork delivered to your door by courier that requires immediate signature

  • A proposal to put your money in a single investment.  In most circumstances, financial advisers will suggest diversification of assets

Scammers don’t care whether you’re an inexperienced investor or have never put your money anywhere other than a bank. They will try to flatter, tempt and pressure you into transferring your pension fund into an investment with attractive sounding returns. Once you’ve signed the forms and the transfer has gone through, it’s too late. You could lose all your savings. Remember, the only people who benefit from scams are the scammers themselves.

The Pension Scams Industry Group, a voluntary body set up in the UK to combat pension scams through the publication of good practice in due diligence for trustees, providers and administrators, has launched Version 2.1 of 'Combating Pension Scams - A Code of Good Practice'.  While not directly relevant for Guernsey based pensions, the Code of Good Practice contains a lot of helpful information with the pension sector and consumer in mind.

Reporting a scam

Find out more information about how to report a scam!

Further information

If you want any further information on the subject, you may find the following resources useful:

Action Fraud - The homepage of the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

BBC Watchdog – For consumer advice on current financial scams.

FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY
  • Protect Yourself - For a list of firms unauthorised to operate in the UK.
  • Scams - For information about how to spot a scam.
  • Scamsmart - A link to the Financial Conduct Authority's national campaign aimed at protecting those most at risk of investment fraud.

Financial Fraud Action UK – An organisation which works in conjunction with industry, government, and the police, to help the public and businesses protect themselves from financial fraud. It provides information about the various types of payment fraud, advice about lessening your chances of becoming a victim, as well as what to do if you become one.

Guernsey Financial Investigation Unit - For the latest fraud news updates from the FIU.

Guernsey Police – Regular media releases can also be found on their Facebook Page.

Know Fraud, No Fraud - BBA – A campaign by the British Bankers' Association to raise awareness about how you can prevent yourself becoming a victim of fraud.

Take Five - A campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK urging the public to stop and think whether a situation is genuine, and if what you are being told makes sense.

The Little Book of Big Scams – A guide on how to avoid some of the most commons scams, produced by the Metropolitan Police Service.

The Little Book of Big Scams, Business Edition - A link to information on scams within businesses.