After years of saving for retirement, the last thing you want is to lose your money to pension fraud. Yet scammers duped savers out £2.2 million in the first five months of 2021, with scams becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot during the pandemic.
The average loss was £50,949, according to complaints filed with Action Fraud, which is more than double the 2020 figure (£23,689). Pension scams have sadly become increasingly common, with fraudsters seeking out every opportunity to rob savers of their pension savings.
Three-quarters of women said they have been approached by a scammer in the previous 12 months, a recent survey by the investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown found.
Research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also reveals that more than a quarter of pension savers feel more at risk of a scam now compared with before the coronavirus pandemic.
Women are often conned when they click on online advertising or social media links promising “free pension reviews”, which lead to websites run by fraudsters.
Dr Linda Papadopoulos, a top psychologist who supports the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, says: “Scammers will use behavioral tactics to trick you into a false sense of security. It is important when approached with a financial offer on your pension to take yourself out of the context or pressure of that moment. We know that people wouldn’t accept a free financial product in a pub or would be unlikely to make a purchase in a random flash sale—so…