Scammers are hiding behind the government-backed Pension Wise brand to trick retirement savers out of their cash.
Pension Wise was set up by the government to offer a one-stop shop for those approaching retirement to gather free advice about how to invest their pensions and savings under the new flexible access rules.
Anyone with a pension pot worth more than £30,000 has to call the service or an IFA for independent guidance before their pension provider will let them take their money.
Pension Wise advisers offer impartial face-to-face meetings or telephone help to consumers.
However, the service, run by The Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice is warning that fraudsters are trying to get to savers’ pension funds by posing as bogus Pension Wise advisers.
Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of The Pension Advisory Service, said: “It’s a criminal offence to infer you represent Pension Wise and many salesmen suggest they are offering advice on behalf of the service.”
Scam web site pensionwisechoices.co.uk was closed by the government earlier this year for posing as Pension Wise advisers.
Pension saver personal details for sale
Meanwhile, a web site is reportedly offering financial advisers and salesmen the chance to buy the names and contact details of 170,000 pension savers for just £585.
The firm Data Pond claims that each record has been checked to confirm everyone on the list has a personal pension and is seeking to transfer their funds into another pension or investment.
Another 28,000 names are on another list that comes with email addresses for the people listed.
Data Pond is pitching the list to financial advisers for email, telephone sales and junk mail marketing.
The firm is also offering marketing lists for other financial products, such as personal loans, debt, payday loans and remortgages.
Data Pond is not listed on the Information Commissioner’s web site as registered under the data protection act.
The telephone contact details listed on the web site only offer the option of leaving a recorded message.
The Data Pond web site says: “We specialise in bespoke one-off marketing data files. We don’t hold a database and sell it numerous times so that it becomes saturated and worthless. We hold niche data files that are opted in, up to date and accurate. In order to truly obtain real opt ins we strictly limit the number of times any data file is sold. “