Pension scams

Fraudsters can target your pension money.

So you need to know how to keep it safe from scams.

If you pay into a pension, make sure you save it from the grip of a fraudster.

It’s illegal for someone to get in touch out of the blue about your pension. And usually it’s a scam.

Tips to avoid pension scams

  • If you get a sudden call that offers any kind of pension help or deal, hang up. This is a common scam. For an email or text, don’t reply, just delete.

    Fraudsters can pretend to be a genuine pension firm. Before you deal with a firm, check them out with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    The FCA website has a register of companies who are allowed to offer products and services. It also gives advice on how to spot a scam and avoid fake companies.

  • Before you start a pension or change one, get as much impartial advice as you can. If you want to use a financial adviser, make sure they’re regulated by the FCA.

    Usually, you have to pay a fee to get proper pension advice. If you get an offer of a free pension review, it could well be a scam.

  • Make sure pension offers and advice aren’t part of a scam. Do as many checks as you need.

    If you’re put under pressure or forced to make a quick decision, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

    To draw you into a scam, fraudsters can use fake sites and facts about pensions. So make sure a site is genuine before you decide what to do.

    Always use a website address and contact details from the FCA site, not one that a firm may give you.

  • Scams often hide behind deals that offer great returns if you transfer your pension or release cash from it. But these can be:

    • high risk, or
    • complex and long-term investments.

    Deals like these can also hide large fees or simply be a scam to steal your money.

    If you’re under 55 years of age and a firm offers help to release cash from your pension, it’s usually a scam.

  • Take Five

    You can get straight forward, impartial advice on how to avoid scams from Take Five.

    Action Fraud

    You can report a crime or get general advice from Action Fraud. They help banks and other companies combat fraud.

    Get Safe Online

    They offer advice on how to keep yourself and your devices safe from fraud.

    UK Finance

    UK Finance is there to support customers and to help make sure it's safe to bank.

    Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

    The PRA is part of the Bank of England. Their role is to make sure banks act safely and reduce the chance of them losing money.

    Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    The FCA is there to make sure banks work well so customers are protected and get a fair deal.


    CIFAS can help to protect your identity. They can stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for things in your name.

    Cyber Aware

    This is a government site that gives advice on how to stay safe online.


    This is part of the FCA site. You can use it to check on an investment or pension deals to help you avoid scams.

    Bank of Scotland does not control the content of any of the websites linked to on this page.

Think you’ve fallen for a scam?

You should contact us right away if you think you’ve been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now

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Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.