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May 2020

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has added several features to its scorpion campaign to help prevent savers from falling victim to pension scams. This is a vital issue and their latest notice is replicated below.

"TPR is supporting trustees and helping savers spot the danger signs of a scam in a range of new resources as part of its scorpion campaign, these include:

  • new videos for trustees and savers – alerting them to typical scammer tactics and the devastating consequences for scam victims
  • an online scam-spotting tool for savers considering investing their pension pot
  • a quick five-step guide to help savers protect themselves with practical tips and questions to consider
  • a downloadable poster for providers and employers
  • a checklist for trustees – helping them work through the due diligence they have to do when looking at transfer requests

Chief Executive at TPR, Lesley Titcomb said: ‘Scammers are criminals and we’re clamping down on their activities. It’s important that people help themselves by understanding the dangers of scams and the scorpion campaign provides the tools to do this. I encourage savers to visit to arm themselves with the facts. ‘In addition, we welcome the government’s proposed new measures in the fight against scammers.’

The scorpion campaign includes five top tips to help savers protect themselves against the scammers:

  • If you think you’ve been scammed – act immediately! You might be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet.
  • Cold called about your pension? Hang up! Unsolicited phone calls, text or emails about your pension are nearly always scams.
  • Deals to look out for. Beware of unregulated investments offering ‘guaranteed returns’. These include exotic sounding investments like hotels, vineyards or other overseas ventures.
  • Using an adviser? Make sure they’re registered with the FCA. Scammers sometimes pose as financial advisers.
  • Don’t let a friend talk you into an investment – check everything yourself. People have fallen for scams because they’d been recommended by a friend.

TPR leads Project Bloom, a multi-agency taskforce which is working with government, the pensions industry, law enforcement agencies and other regulators to combat pension scams. Project Bloom has been instrumental in encouraging the government to consult on a range of measures intended to tackle pension scams, including banning pensions cold calling, restricting the ability to transfer to scam schemes and changes to how certain schemes are regulated."

Ascot Lloyd does its best to spot scams and to protect members from their own actions. However ultimately it is the member’s own responsibility.

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.