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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Pension Scammers

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on all our daily lives, at work and at home.

As you will be aware certain measures have been introduced by the government to seek to slow down the spread of this virus and it is essential that we all take action to protect ourselves and those around us during these challenging times.

Unfortunately not everyone will have your best interests at heart and this will be a perfect opportunity for the scammers to look at how they can increase their fraudulent activity.

Scammers often approach you with the promise that if you transfer your pension pot you will receive a much better return on your investment and this could sound very lucrative to a pension saver in these uncertain times.

You need to be extra vigilant so that you are not taken advantage of.

If you are an Usdaw member and would like to talk this through with someone contact the Usdaw Pension Section on 0161 224 2804.

Pension cold calling was banned in the UK last year so if you are approached unexpectedly about your pension and you are in any doubt – hang up.

Here are our tips if you are unsure:

  • Reject any unexpected offers made by phone text or email and never give out your bank details if requested from suspicious or unknown contacts.
  • Check who you are dealing with. Contact the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at fca.org.uk/scamsmart.
  • Check it’s not a ‘clone firm’ - some scammers try to deceive investors by pretending to be a genuine firm (called a ‘clone firm’).
  • Check the FCA Warning List.
  • Use the FCA Warning List to see if the firm is known to be operating without the FCA’s authorisation.
  • Even if a firm isn’t on the FCA warning list, it might still be a scam – scammers will change names and details all the time.
The FCA says there are some tell-tale signs to look out for;
 
  • They promise unrealistic returns – to tempt you in, scammers often promise impressive or guaranteed returns. They’ll even play down the risks. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.
  • Scammers might also offer free pension reviews and the chance to release money from your pension even if you’re under the age of 55, which is not normally allowed under current pension legislation.
Don’t feel rushed or pressured take your time to make all the checks you need. The FCA suggest people should seriously consider seeking financial guidance or advice before changing their pension arrangements.

Speak to Usdaw’s Pension Section for further help and guidance or if you need to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser. 

Worried you may have been scammed already?

Act immediately!

Call Usdaw’s Pension Section on 0161 224 2804 or email us at [email protected].

Contact your workplace pension department or pension company-they may be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet.
  1. Call Action Fraud and report it on 03000 123 2040.
  2. You should also report what’s happened to the FCA either online fca.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 111 6768.

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