What it is and how to spot it
If you are in any doubt about an instruction or correspondence you have received in relation to your Curtis Banks pension, please call us on 0307 414 7000 before making a payment or disclosing any personal information.
Scammers don’t discriminate when they come to targeting people, and with pension scams, it’s no different. Pension scams are on the rise, with fraudsters using a variety of methods, tactics and techniques to access people’s pensions. So what can you do to avoid scammers?
Common pension scam warning signs:
- Offer of a ‘free pension review’
- Guarantees of higher returns on your pension savings
- Offers to release funds from your pension before you turn 55
- Firms or individuals who put pressure on you to make decisions quickly
- Unusual investments – likely to be unregulated and high risk
- Complicated structures where it isn’t clear where your money will end up
- Arrangements where several parties are involved (some might be overseas)
- Long-term pension investments – it could be several years before you realise something is wrong
- Requests for remote access to your device – scammers may pretend to help you to gain access to your personal details and banking information.
The FCA has outlined 4 simple steps to follow in order to avoid pension scams:
- Reject unexpected offers
If you are contacted unexpectedly about a pension opportunity, there is a high probability that this is a pension scam. If you receive a cold call about your pension, hang up and report the cold call to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
- Check who you’re dealing with
The FCA operate a Register so that you can ensure that any party providing advice or financial services is authorised and regulated, and that they are suitably able to provide advice with the services that you require. You can call the FCA Consumer Hotline on 0800 111 6768 if you require any help in checking a party’s details. Always check any details you have against the FCA Register, as opposed to any details the firm or individual provides to you.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured
Take your time to consider your options and make any and all appropriate checks before you proceed. If you are being pressured into making a quick decision, or being promised an offer that sounds too good to be true, be wary of this as this may be a scam.
- Get impartial information or advice
We would always encourage you to consider obtaining financial advice from an FCA regulated adviser before making any decisions relating to your pension. There are also some other options in terms of obtaining advice:
- MoneyHelper provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
- If you’re over 50 and have a defined contribution pension, MoneyHelper’s Pension Wise offers pre-booked appointments to talk through your retirement options.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched an initiative called ScamSmart, which provides guidance and support on what you should look out for to avoid falling victim to pension fraud, and what you should do if you think you have been exposed to a scam.
If you think you have been scammed: next steps
If you think you have been the victim of pension fraud or a pension scam, you need to take action as soon as possible.
You can report the firm or scam to the FCA via 0800 111 6768 or using their online reporting form, or if you have concerns about your Curtis Banks pension you can get in contact with us to discuss on 0370 414 7000.