Pension Fraud Doubles With Flexible Access

Pension fraudsters are smooth-talking retirement savers into parting with their cash with scams, new figures show.

Bogus investment advisers are preying on the greed of savers by luring them into handing over their life-savings since the introduction of flexible access pensions in April 2015.

New research shows that the amount of money stolen by pension fraudsters has doubled since the new measures were introduced that allow retirement savers over 55 years old to take their pension cash to spend as they wish.

Employment benefits consultancy Portus says fraudsters have approached one in seven over 55s to try to persuade them to switch their savings into a scam investment.

Scammers grab £9m in six months

In the report, the company claims:

  • 69% of fraudsters start their scam approach with the offer of a free pension review
  • 27% of savers suspect a scam
  • Most investments involve foreign property, airport parking places and self-storage opportunities

As a result of a massive step up in seeking victims, pension fraud has doubled since pension freedoms were introduced.

More than £9 million in cash has disappeared since April, compared to around 34.5 million last year.

But the amount lost to scammers could be much higher as the firm estimates 12% of victims do not realise they have fallen victim to a con and fail to report the crime.

Victims unaware of fraud

The company said most fraudsters start their attempt at a scam with an email, although many also try texts and cold-call phone contact.

“Pension freedoms are good for retirement savers because they have more control over their money and how to spend it,” said Portus commercial director Steve Watson.

“However the downside is the freedoms also give scammers a better chance of stealing money because many pension savers do not realise that they are being scammed when they are offered what seems a great opportunity to gain a better return on their money.”

Meanwhile, police have reported that cybercrime; including online fraud has doubled the crime rate in England and Wales by including 5.1 million offences reported to police in the past 12 months.

The increase is mainly due to a change in how the Home Office records crime statistics by including online crime for the first time.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Struggling Forex Broker Bought Flats With Company Funds

A forex broker whose company was approaching financial meltdown switched £1.05 million from a business account to buy two apartments in Dubai in a...

Stock Markets Slump To Worst Quarter In 37 Years

Stock markets slumped to record losses in the first three mnths of the year due to fears over how coronavirus impacts the world economy...

Operation Airlift Underway For Brits Stranded Abroad

The British government is working with partner airlines to bring thousands of stranded travellers back to the UK. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has set aside...

Expat Landlords Get Buy To Let Mortgage Aid

The financial pain of coronavirus uncertainty for buy to let landlords has been eased by the housing minister. Secretary for Housing Robert Jenrick is extending...

Financial Package On The Way For Self-Employed

Financial support is coming for freelance and self-employed expats who pay their taxes in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised. In his last...