Be aware of cold calling about pensions. This is illegal and a likely sign of a scam.
Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and some scammers have moved to contacting individuals online, making contact through social media or using friends and family to reach out to a number of people. Other scammers rely on the tactic of offering a “free pensions review”.
It is vital you know the scam tactics and signs of a scam.
Common signs of pension scams:
Beware of contact that comes “out of the blue”
Contact offering “free pension reviews”
Time pressure - fraudsters will use high pressure selling tactics and try to push you to make a quick decision
Offering a guaranteed better return on your pension savings
Unusual high-risk investments. These tend to be overseas, unregulated, with no consumer protections
Investment structures that are complicated and you do not understand where your money is going or where it will end up
A company does not let you call them back
Multiple people involved with the contact (some may be overseas). The more people involved, the more likely it’s not legitimate.
Any of the following phrases would be a red flag - ‘one-off investments’, ‘time-limited offers’, ‘upfront cash incentives’, ‘free pension reviews’, ‘legal loopholes’ or ‘government initiatives’.
If someone offers to assist you or a relative with unlocking or obtaining money from your pension before the age of 55. This is very likely to be a scam. Only in very rare cases, such as very poor health, is this possible.