The Government has announced it is introducing a ban on cold-calling by pension companies.
The ban will include emails and text messages and a tightening of rules that will ensure only active companies, which produce regular, up-to-date accounts, can register pension schemes.
There will also be tougher actions to prevent the transfer of money from an occupational pension scheme into a fraudulent one.
A spokesman said: “Offers of simple schemes which promise to boost people’s retirement savings which can ‘double your pension’ overnight can seem like a great opportunity.
“But as tantalising as these offers might sound, they are often too good to be true.
“Pension scams are on the rise and the number of cold calls has soared in recent times. It is now estimated that on average eight people in the UK are targeted by cold callers every second – the equivalent of 250 million calls per year.
“With private pension savings typically the biggest lifesaving that people have, new figures estimate that £43 million has been unlawfully obtained by scammers since April 2014, with those targeted having lost an average of nearly £15,000.
“That’s why our announcement, to bring in a pensions cold calling ban and introduce new steps to protect private pension savers from the threat of these unscrupulous pension scammers, is so important.
“We are taking action to introduce a ban on pensions cold calling.
“However, we must remain wary of any form of dubious advice linked to your pension pot or cash lump sums.”
Here are five top tops to avoid a scam, issued by the Government.
1. Hang up on cold callers. No legitimate firm will cold call you.
2. Research, research, research. If an offer promises ‘guaranteed’ returns or seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Check them out. Double check on the FCA’s Scamsmart website www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart to see if your offer is a known scam and whether the person calling is a fraud. Make sure they’re not registered on the FCA’s warning list.
4. If in doubt, call The Pensions Advisory Service. You can call them on 0300 123 1047 or visit their website at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk for free pensions guidance.
5. If you think you’ve been scammed, call Action Fraud. You can reach them on 0300 123 2040.
For more tips to protect your retirement savings, visit www.pension-scams.com.
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