The Pensions Regulator has this week warned people about the more sophisticated and devious ways that scammers are using to relieve people of their pensions savings. The advice comes as they are welcoming the announcement by the government that they will ban pensions cold calling as well as cold emailing and texting.
Whilst this is undoubtedly a positive move to try and target pension scammers, The Pensions Regulator still remains concerned that there is the opportunity for scam pension websites to claim fresh victims by targeting the vulnerable and those with limited knowledge about pensions. They are now part of the multi-agency Project Bloom task force that is intent on taking pension scams.
In recent months, it has become apparent that fraudsters are getting more sophisticated and subtle with their methods, and 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.
Some of these websites even imply that they are regulated and carry a warning messages about being the victim of pension scams.
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."
The issue of pension scams is a very real one, with the latest research suggesting that one in five over 50s have been targeted by a scammer in the last three months.