Fraudsters may be trying to steal the savings of workers by falsely claiming to be calling from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
TPR has received reports of pension holders being cold-called by individuals who have posed as TPR staff and offered the workers a 'free pension review' – a common warning sign of a scam. TPR never cold-calls individuals about their pensions.
We have referred the cases to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for investigation and will also refer any other reports we receive.
Although we have only received two reports to date, we have taken swift action to alert consumers about the threat posed by the fraudsters.
Neither of the individuals who have contacted TPR about the bogus calls were tricked into handing over their details or any funds to the fraudsters. However, as only a minority of scam attempts are ever reported, many more people who have not yet come forward may have been approached by the cold-callers.
If you are cold-called about your pension, or believe you could be the victim of pension fraud, please contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.
Mike Broomfield, TPR’s Head of Intelligence, said:
“We’re grateful to those people who have alerted us to the cold-calls. We’ve now referred the cases to the ICO to consider and would urge anyone else who is contacted to call Action Fraud.
“Like all reputable organisations, we never cold-call people about their pensions.
“If anyone cold-calls you about your pension, it is an attempt to steal your savings. Just hang up.”
TPR leads Project Bloom, a multi-agency taskforce which is working with government, the pensions industry, law enforcement agencies and other regulators to combat pension scams.
Project Bloom members were at the forefront of calls for the Government to ban pension cold-calling. The ban is expected to become law next year.
Visit pension-scams.com for tips on how you can prevent yourself, your friends and your family from becoming a victim. This includes an online scam-spotting tool for those considering investing their pension pot and a quick five-step guide to help savers protect themselves with practical tips and questions to consider.
- Five signs of a scam to be aware of are:
- a free pension review
- the promise of guaranteed returns on your investment
- low tax / tax-free rates, including tax-free lump sums
- exotic sounding and / or overseas investments
- pressure to sign up quickly to avoid missing out
- TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).