• New analysis finds pension scam victims could lose average of 22 years of savings in 24 hours
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of people would trust someone offering pensions advice out of the blue – one of the main warning signs of scam 
  • More highly educated people are more at risk, according to research
  • FCA and TPR re-launch ScamSmart activity to encourage people to protect lifetime of savings

Victims of pension scams could lose 22 years’ worth of savings within 24 hours, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

The regulators’ ScamSmart campaign reveals that it could take 22 years for a saver to build a pension pot of £82,000 – the average amount victims lost to scams in 2018.

But despite this, many savers could be at risk of falling for scammers tactics within a day, with new research revealing almost 1 in 4 (24%) of those surveyed admitted they’d take 24 hours or less to decide on a pension offer.

Worryingly, overconfidence could lead to savers missing the signs of a scam. Further still, the more highly educated the person, the more likely they are to fall for a pension scam. 

Those with degrees are 40% more likely to accept a free pension review from a company they’ve not dealt with before, and 21% more likely to take up the offer of early access to their pension pot. Both common scam tactics.

The regulators are warning savers to get to know the warning signs of a scam, be ScamSmart and always check who they are dealing with before making a decision on their pensions. They recommend four simple steps:

  1. Reject unexpected pension offers whether made online, on social media or over the phone
  1. Check who you’re dealing with before changing your pension arrangements – check the FCA Register at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart or call the FCA contact centre on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm you are dealing with is authorised by the FCA
  2. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making any decision about your pension
  3. Consider getting impartial information and advice