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Learn More About Pension Scams

Getting To Know

Pension scams

Pension scams involve people trying to steal part, or all, of your pension, through increasingly sophisticated methods. These scammers will often contact you and claim to know about different ways to make the most of your pension, acting as legitimate pension advisors or regulated brokers. They may offer things such as loans, advances on your pension, cashback, more than the usual 25% tax free amount or other creative tactics to scam people out of their hard earned money. 

At Wealth Recovery Solicitors, we’re a team of legal experts who are ready to help you if you think you may be a victim of pension fraud. We can provide help and advice, along with using our expertise to help you recover the money you lost wherever possible, utilising our tracing services. It is important to act quickly, so contact us to arrange a free consultation, or continue reading to find out more about how to identify pension scams and what you should do if you think you have been frauded. 


How to identify a scam

With cryptocurrency scams, often the sooner you spot and identify that you have been a victim, the easier it is to recuperate any lost funds. There are some ways in which you can spot the signs of common crypto scams and if you want to avoid falling victim to these scams again or in the future, learning more about the signs is the best approach you can take.

What does pension fraud look like?+

There are various different types of pension fraud that anyone can fall victim to, so being vigilant whenever you are contacted about your pension is vital. Often scammers will be very knowledgeable on the subject of pensions, will refer to credible websites such as HMRC and will talk about the people they have helped. This contact could be made through cold calling, over email, on social media or even in person. So, if anyone contacts you about your pension, it’s best to ignore it and contact your provider yourself to find out if the contact was legitimate or whether it was a pension scam.

Once they have spent time building your trust, perhaps even calling back on another occasion, they will try and persuade you to transfer part or all of your pension to them or directly to an ‘investment’. More often than not, the pension scam involves your money being stolen outright. They will make a range of promises about how much you can benefit, then never follow through with them. 

Key pension scam terms+

Pension scams are becoming increasingly complex, which is why it’s best never to discuss your pension with anyone unless with your provider directly. However, here are a few terms you can look out for to identify whether contact being made with you is a scam: 

  • The scammer may lead with seemingly harmless advice, such as ‘free pension reviews’ or ‘no-obligation pension advice’
  • Mentions of ‘pension liberation’ or ‘loopholes’ in the system
  • Suggesting they can help you get better returns on your pension
  • Helping you to access your pension before the standard age
  • Putting you under pressure with time limited offers
  • Mentions of investments, whether it’s fixed-term, high-risk or low-risk

There are many more examples of what a pension scam looks like, but the main red flag is when someone contacts you about your pension out of the blue, which often isn’t done by legitimate advisors. This is why ignoring the contact and getting in touch with your provider directly is the safest option. When someone makes contact with you about your pension saying they will be able to help you, it will probably sound too good to be true, and unfortunately it’s likely that it will be and that it is actually pension fund fraud.

What should I do if I’m a victim of a pension scam?+

If you think you’re a victim of a pension scam, contact your pension provider immediately. They may be able to pause the transfer if the payment hasn’t been taken, or it’s in the process of being taken.

After contacting your pension provider, if the transaction couldn’t be stopped, you should contact legal experts specialising in wealth recovery and pension scams to help you. Time is of the essence when it comes to recovering lost funds, so as soon as you realise you may have been scammed, contact experts. If this is the situation you are in, contact us.

The next step is to report the pension fund fraud to the police and also other fraud support companies, such as FCA Scam Smart and Action Fraud. They help to regulate different financial services and markets, so could help to prevent the pension scam from occurring again, as well as providing any information that could be useful.

What are examples of pension scams?+

Pension scams come in all forms, however there are a few consistent scams that you should be particularly aware of:

  • Someone making contact and claiming to provide a free pension review, no-obligation advice or simply just offering to talk through your options. They will build your trust over time, and potentially multiple calls, then will work to steal your pension.
  • Claiming to know loopholes to help you gain liberation from your pension, whether that’s accessing more than the standard 25% tax free pension amount or investing on your behalf to transform your pension funds.
  • Offering limited time investments or exclusive offers to encourage you to provide your details or make payments

These are just a few examples of pension scams and unfortunately there are plenty more out there, so if you are ever contacted out of the blue about your pension, or see an advert mentioning any of the points of concern above, always reach out to a legitimate scam support website (FCA Scam Smart and Action Fraud) and they will be able to assist you.

What are the red flags to identify pension fraud?+

Some of the red flags of pension scams can include:

  • Offering free pension reviews
  • Promising to provide better returns
  • Unlocking your pension early
  • Tax loopholes
  • Any mention of pension loans
  • Time limited offers
  • Random contact about your pension from anyone who isn’t your provider
What if a legitimate pension advisor contacts me?+

If you think you have been contacted by a legitimate pension advisor, you should treat it as a pension scam until you have the evidence to prove otherwise.

When you are contacted, do not give them any information and simply ask for the name of the company then finish the call. Take a note of anything that they tell you on the phone as this may be good evidence later down the line. Take the company name and then check the Financial Services Register, to check whether the company is FCA authorised. There is also a FCA warning list that highlights companies involved in pension scams, and other types of fraud, which is worth checking.

Pension scammers may use a similar name to companies who are registered, or they may pretend to be from legitimate companies, so make sure that if you ever get back in touch with who you think is a legitimate company, only ever use the contact details on the Financial Service Register, rather than any that are given to you by the person who contacted you.

If there was any sense of urgency introduced by the person who contacted you, then this is a significant red flag and could indicate a pension scam. You should take the time to conduct all of the checks you need to and a legitimate advisor will give you the time and space to do that.

Once you have identified that the advisor or company is definitely legitimate, you should make contact using the contact details on the Financial Service Register, as mentioned above. Even then, if you are ever unsure, don’t commit to making any decisions there and then. Being contacted by anyone legitimate about your pension is unusual (unless it’s your provider), so be especially wary when you are reached out to.

Again, even if you think your pension provider reaches out to you, this could be a clone company or someone posing as someone from your provider to commit pension fraud. Don’t give away any information, simply say you’d feel more comfortable if you made the contact, then find the details on the Financial Service Register so you know you are speaking to the legitimate company.

Victim of a Scam?

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We understand that being the victim of a pension scam can be tough to handle, but we hope that our support, action and guidance can enable you to recover lost funds and regain a sense of confidence and security in making trades and investments online.


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