Pension scam risk increases amid coronavirus crisis, warn MPs

by Brean Horne from Moneywise |

MPs call for greater legislative protection against pension scams 

Pension savers face a greater risk of being targeted by fraudsters, new research from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams (APPG) has revealed.

The government has advised more people to stay at home amid the coronavirus crisis, which could increase their chances of being contacted via phone or online.

Investment markets plunging over recent weeks may also make people more susceptible to pension scams as they attempt to recover losses from their retirement savings.  

The figures show that up to £10 billion may have been stolen by fraudsters in 2018, with the average pension scam victim losing £82,000, the APPG found.

Current legislative initiatives are falling short of protecting retired workers, the APPG has found.

For example, the government’s ban on cold calling still leaves room for scammers to target people if they claim to represent a major pension provider.

If the person happens to have a pension with the company stated, they may not realise that the call is fraudulent.

The APPG on Pension Scams is calling for the government to do more to protect retired workers.

This includes improving early warning systems and communication between advisers, providers and regulators to prevent scams before they happen.

Simplifying official channels to help people identify and report fraud could also help reduce the risk of pension scams occurring.

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of the Transparency Task Force, a pro-consumer campaign organisation says:  “It is clear that there is a need for more and better thinking around what should be done to mitigate the risk of the UK’s pension-saving public falling prey to sophisticated scammers; and also to help those that have been scammed.

“We are doing all we can to support this initiative including acting as the Secretariat for the new APPG. I hope every Parliamentarian who cares will get in touch and get involved.”

 

 

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise. Click here to subscribe.

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