Anti-scam warnings on fake pension websites tricking investors

Added 5th September 2017

Rogue pension websites are carrying anti-scam messages to try to trick UK consumers into believing that they are legitimate businesses, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has warned.

Anti-scam warnings on fake pension websites tricking investors

The warning from TPR follows measures to impose a ban on pension cold calling to help prevent potential victims from being scammed out of their savings.

In addition to the cold calling ban, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to bring in legislation for tighter rules to prevent the opening of fraudulent pension schemes and restrictions to prevent transfers into scam schemes.

However, TPR remains concerned that opportunities remain for scam websites to claim fresh victims by targeting the vulnerable or those with limited pensions knowledge.

Some websites even imply they are regulated by carrying warning messages designed to prevent people falling victim to scams, such as making reference to the tax implications over accessing your pension before the age of 55 and the danger of cold callers.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb said: “These sites are wolves in sheep’s clothing, lying in wait for unsuspecting victims by portraying themselves as being beyond reproach.

“The truth is that this next generation of scam sites poses a real threat to people’s financial futures and should be avoided.

“We welcome the government’s tough new measures, which will strike a significant blow to pension scammers who devastate people’s lives by duping them out of their life savings.

“We are working closely with government, enforcement agencies and key financial service bodies to bring scammers to justice and, through our scorpion campaign, to help the public protect themselves from scams.”

Taskforce

Led by TPR, a multi-agency taskforce called Project Bloom was set up to tackle pension scams.

Stakeholders include the DWP, HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, City of London Police, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, The Pensions Advisory Service, and the National Crime Agency.

A number of suspected scam websites have been referred to TPR over the suspicion that they are being dressed up as legitimate investment vehicles – including carrying the Bloom campaign’s anti-scam material without TPR’s consent.

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About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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