Beware if anyone approaches you offering to help you release the cash in your pension!

Intelligence gleaned from interviews with fraudsters, currently serving time, show that they are rubbing their hands in glee at the opportunities the new pension freedoms provide – according to information published in the Independent.

Currently fraudsters cost the UK £30 billion a year.  The interviews conducted by the police reveals that fraudsters will target approximately 320,000 people every year as they are entitled to benefit from the over 55’s access to pension pots.

If you turn 55 this year, you can expect a plague of cold callers

The Government, including cyber crime police units are interviewing criminals worldwide to gain insight into the scams and the scammers – it appears that 90% of inmates will talk to the police even though there is no reward.

How can you avoid being a victim?

Do not respond to cold callers.  You can contact your pension company directly if you wish to withdraw funds and you qualify.

Do not respond to any hard sell or provide any personal information.  These operations will look slick, polished and glossy BUT you know nothing about the organisations, so do not use them.

Information has been distributed by the police on how to stay safe online.  Read it and do not fall for their tricks:

  • Police, and your bank, will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone, never give these details out.
  • The police will never call you and ask you to withdraw money from your account, and will never ask you to handover bank cards or cash to give to a courier or taxi driver, regardless of how convincing the caller may seem.
  • If you receive such a call leave the landline for at least five minutes to make an outside call. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music or a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number.
  • Use a friend’s or neighbour’s telephone instead.
  • Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of telephone scams and please don’t give out personal details.

We at Clearways Accountants say it is better to be cautious, if someone has called you, you should not need to identify yourself – they called you – but if you are suspicious on the identity of the caller, ask them some questions to be sure you know who they are. Or just apologise and put the phone down.