Money making scams
Scams can look like great deals and get-rich-quick schemes. But if you know what to look out for and what to do you can protect yourself.
Paying into a pension can be a great way to save. But you need to look out for scams that can target your pension pot.
What to look out for:
- You’re contacted out of the blue - If you get a call, text or email about your pension without any notice, it’s often a scam.
- Amazing deals - Scams can hide behind deals that offer great returns if you transfer your pension or release cash from it. But these can be high risk, complex or long-term investments, hide large fees or simply there to steal your money.
- Release your cash - If you’re under 55 years of age and a firm offers help to release cash from your pension, it’s usually a scam.
- You need to act now - Scams like to put you under pressure and rush you into making a quick decision.
- Clone companies - Some scams pretend to be real pension firms. Before you deal with a firm, check them out with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- Fake sites - People can use fake sites and facts about pensions to draw you in to a scam.
What you can do:
- Hang up - If you get a call out of the blue about your pension, it’s illegal and usually a scam.
- Refuse free reviews - You usually have to pay a fee to get proper pension advice. If you get an offer of a free pension review, it’s likely to be a scam.
- Do your own research - If you look into pension offers and advice yourself then it’s very hard to be talked into a scam.
- Check companies out - You can use the FCA site to make sure a company can offer pension services.
- Use real contact details - Always use the contact details from the FCA site and not ones that a firm may give you.
- Take your time - If you need to make a quick decision to get an amazing deal, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. Take time to think about your pension and do as many checks as you need.
- Get advice - Before you start or change your pension, try to get as much impartial advice as you can. If you want to use a financial adviser, make sure they’re regulated by the FCA.
The FCA site 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. You can go to the FCA here.