New research from Succession Wealth, the leading independent wealth management company with more than £7.75 billion of investments under management for over 20,000 clients, reveals that 10% of people aged 50 and over with pension plans, believe they have been approached by pension scammers trying to access their savings. One in twenty of those contacted (5%) – as many as 125,000 people - say they have lost money through one or more pension scams.
The scale of this problem could be greater than many assume because the research reveals that only 22% of people aged 50 and over who believe they have been targeted by pension scammers, said they reported this to the authorities.
Of those contacted by pension scammers, 84% claim to have been approached by them in the past 12 months, with six percent saying they were contacted by them more than 10 times.
Succession Wealth’s research reveals that 68% of people who believe they have been targeted by a pension scammer said they were contacted via the phone, with 27% saying it was via email. Some 4% said they were visited by them in person.
In terms of the tactics used by pension scammers, the findings reveal that 62% of those who believe they have been targeted by them said they were offered a ‘free’ pension review, and 42% were told about an investment scheme that promised high guaranteed returns. Some 27% said they were put under pressure to give an answer quickly, and nearly one in five were told about opportunities to use their pension savings to invest in other products but were given no details of these.
Mark Stokes, Head of Communications, Succession Wealth said: “Our findings are very alarming and illustrate the potential scale of the problem that is pension scamming. Some of the people being targeted are vulnerable and more needs to be done to protect them. The FCA’s Scamsmart initiative is very helpful in this regard.
“We are writing to all of our 20,000 plus clients to warn them of this problem. Given that we manage many of their pension plans, Succession is able to help clients ensure that they don’t become victims of this crime.”
Advice on how to spot and avoid pension scammers, and what to do if you suspect a scam can be found at: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams or https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams