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Would you know how to spot and stop a potential scam?

During lockdown the numbers of people being scammed increased dramatically, sadly with older and vulnerable people are being deliberately targeted. Fraudsters use a wide range of scams and trickery to con people, often to dishonestly make financial gain. Unfortunately some of our customers were recently targeted in some hugely dishonest pension scams.

Over £2m has been lost to pension scams since the beginning of this year in the UK. Pension scammers will target anyone, but would you know the tell-tale warning signs to look out for?

Tell-tale signs to watch out for include:

  1. Contacted completely out of the blue?
  2. Given promises of high or guaranteed returns?
  3. Offered a free pension review
  4. Promised access to your pension before age 55?
  5. Being put under pressure to act quickly

This is how our customers were targeted: 

Door to door fraudster – Our customer in his 50s had an opportunist fraudster knock on his door, after a number of visits he was persuaded they could increase the value of his pension. After eventually being convinced to sign a form giving access to his pension, he sadly lost a £90,000 army pension to the fraudsters.

Telephone Scammer – One customer was approached over the phone by a fraudster who urged him to pay £12,000 to release his pension. Our customer, in his 50s, was so convinced he took out two loans to cover it. He was told they needed a further £5,000, so he approached his family for a loan.

When our customer started to miss rent payments, they told us he’d pay off the arrears when his pension was released. After speaking to our money coaches it was quickly identified he was being scammed. Fraudsters don’t care about the financial mess they leave people. Our customer now has rent arrears, has two outstanding loans to pay and owes money to family.

A close call – Our customer received what he believed was a call from his bank, with their number showing on his mobile. They knew his name and address, advising him there were suspicious transactions on his account. They asked him to confirm some information.

Our customer ended the call after realising he hadn’t been taken through the usual data protection to check his ID. After ringing the bank back on the same number, he was advised there was no suspicious activity on his account. He was told that scammers can intercept the telephone numbers of the bank and that the call hadn’t come from them.

There are many ways that the scammers can try and con you, we’re here to help if you’ve been targeted. If something doesn’t seem quite right, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. Call us on 0345 366 4404. You can also report anything suspicious to national organisation Action Fraud.