As a ban on pension cold-calling, cold-emailing and cold-texting comes into force, people are still being urged to be on their guard from pension scammers.
For many years, cold-calling in particular has been a popular tactic used by fraudsters intent on stealing the life savings of pension savers, with nearly 11 million unsolicited pension calls and messages made every year.
Under the new legislation that comes into force in January, any firm that is found to be ignoring the new rules will face a fine of up to £500,000. However, with research by the financial regulator the Financial Conduct Authority revealing that the average pension scam victim loses more than £90,000, it is thought that some firms may ignore the ban altogether, meaning that the general public will still have to be wary of potential pension scams.
Talking about the new legislation, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:
"Pension scammers are the lowest of the low. They rob savers of their hard-earned retirement and devastate lives. We know that cold-calling is the pension scammers' main tactic, which is why we've made them illegal.
"If you receive an unwanted call from an unknown caller about your pension, get as much information you can and report it to the Information Commissioner's Office. I'd also urge all savers to seek independent advice if you're thinking about making an important financial decision."
Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said:
"Pension scams are despicable crimes, fleecing people of the retirement they've earned by doing the right thing, working hard and saving for the future. Banning pensions cold-calling will protect people from these callous crooks and ensure fraudsters feel the full force of the law."