Thousands of people have lost their hard-earned pension savings as a result of fraud.
As The Pensions Regulator reminds us, scammers are after your pension pot.
These fraudsters know you can now access your savings in new ways and will try to lure you with promises of upfront cash and one-off ‘deals’ with guaranteed high returns.
One big way in which pensions scammers target their victims is through cold calling.
The modus operandi is usually a cold call offering a ‘free pension review’. In some cases, the cold callers will falsely claim that new government rules mean it is compulsory for you to have your pension plans reviewed.
Once the caller has details of your pension pots, they will inevitably hand you over to a salesperson who will convince you to move the money into a high risk, expensive, esoteric investment scheme, usually overseas and often involving property investment.
At this point, you will be lucky to see the value of your pension pot again.
A few weeks ago, my friend and fellow Chartered Financial Planner Darren Cooke asked me to sponsor a new government petition, calling to make it illegal to cold call or email for investments or pensions.
The text of this petition reads:
“Cold calling on investments and pensions to members of the public very often leads to unregulated investments and scams. Banning cold calling would dramatically reduce the number of people falling prey to fraudsters and losing their savings and pensions.”
The petition has already received more than 3,000 signatures, gaining public support last week from money saving expert Martin Lewis.
Once the petition receives 10,000 signatures, it will receive a response from government. At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.
Please consider adding your support by signing the petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/166980 and helping to make it illegal to cold call for pensions or investments.
Let’s make pension cold calling illegal for Halloween, as it’s one of the scariest things out there in the world of financial services at the moment.