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7th May 2020

Over the years there have been a rising number of people being scammed out of their pensions and retirement savings.

Pension scams appear as attractive, time-limited offers, with the intention of persuading the pension holder to transfer part or all of their retirement savings over to the fraudsters. If you, a friend or family member have a pension waiting to be accessed, make sure you take note of these four warning signs of fraud and act immediately!

1. Immediately reject unexpected offers

Receiving an out-of-the-blue offer for a pension opportunity should ring alarm bells as pension cold calls have been illegal for over a year. So, chances are that if you’re being cold called, it’s a scam. Professional pension advice is very rarely free so watch out for any pro-bono offers too. Don’t think something is safe because you know someone else who has done it. They could also be a victim and just don’t know it yet!

2. Confirm who you’re dealing with

The Financial Services Register can be found on the website www.fca.org.uk and contains the details of everyone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 to check an individual or organisation’s credentials. Often, fraudsters will claim to be an FCA authorised firm, but don’t take their word on it; check directly with the register, it only takes a few minutes.

3. Watch out for pressure selling

It’s a classic scammer technique to pressure sell, but it’s vital you take your time and carry out proper checks. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if this means turning down a ‘once in a lifetime deal’ or an offer which runs for ‘a limited time only’. Promised returns should also arouse your suspicion. Something that sounds too good to be true often is, and all investments come with risk.

4. Get independent advice

Before making any significant changes to your pension arrangements, you should also consider seeking financial guidance or advice. There are several free services out there, including the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, which offer impartial guidance. It’s also wise to discuss your pensions and savings with a financial adviser – as long as they are regulated and approved by the FCA! Find a list at www.unbiased.co.uk or contact Ascot Lloyd for guidance.

Ascot Lloyd have controls in place to reduce the risk of pensions being transferred to fraudulent arrangements, however, fraudsters can be very sophisticated so it is worth being aware of these points.

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We are open for business as usual, our Financial Advisers are available on the phone so please contact us if you have any questions.

Important Information

Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated.  Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Because of this, an investor is not certain to make a profit on an investment and may lose money. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is for information purposes only. Nothing in this communication constitutes financial, professional or investment advice or a personal recommendation. This communication should not be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. No representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is provided in relation to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained herein, nor is it intended to be a complete statement or summary of the securities, markets or developments referred to in the document. Any opinions expressed in this document are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by other business areas or companies within the same group as Ascot Lloyd as a result of using different assumptions and criteria.