Beware the increase in scams and cold calling

Pension scams and cold calling are on the rise – again – and it’s vitally important that you protect your retirement fund by watching out for them.

On the 9th of January this year, the government banned cold calling. So if you do receive a ‘cold call’ about your pension, it could be that it’s a scam – what you need to do is make sure the caller is legitimate.

However, modern scammers don’t just rely on the telephone. Michelle Cracknell, the chief executive of The Pension Advisory Service, has gone on record as saying that there is “increasing evidence” that people are being contacted via social media and through existing working relationships. Cracknell says these schemes will never be fully stamped out: “The pickings are too rich.”

How can you protect yourself? First of all, never believe anyone who says they can help you to access your pension before the age of 55. And second, always make sure the company you are dealing with is legitimate – particularly if you plan to give them any money!

The potential damages you could incur if a scammer takes advantage of you are huge – for most of us, our pension represents the biggest saving and investment we’ll ever undertake.

The best way to stay protected is to exercise common sense (if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!) and to get impartial advice from a trusted source. You can learn more about scams, by visiting the website of the Pensions Regulator:

And remember, if you’re in any doubt – don’t hand over anything: time, money, or information!

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