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How to stop old people being ripped off by scammers

Patrick Christys
Aug 10, 2019

Retired or elderly people are most at risk of being defrauded by scammers.

The sad fact is that criminals see old people as an easy target. Fraudsters don’t have morals, all they care about is money.

If you are a senior citizen, or you have elderly relatives, here is some handy information to make sure that cold-hearted criminals don’t get hold of your money.

Did you know that five million retirees are at risk of having their pensions stolen by clever fraudsters?

Victims of pensions fraud have, on average, £82,000 stolen.

If you're approaching retirement, or have parents or grandparents who are - here are the tactics they need to be aware of:

Offers to access a pension early


How to spot a scam:

The FCA and TPR are urging the public to be ScamSmart with their pension and always check who they’re dealing with.

THE regulators recommend four simple steps to protect yourself:

1. Reject unexpected pension offers whether made online, on social media or over the phone. A legitmate provider will never make unsolicited contact.

2. Check who you’re dealing with before changing your pension arrangements. Check the FCA Register or call the FCA contact centre on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm you are dealing with is authorised by the FCA.

3.  Don’t be rushed or pressured into making any decision about your pension. Real pensions and investment companies won't tell you that you need to sign on a deadline to get a deal

4. Consider getting impartial information and advice. Free guidance for over-50s is available from Pension Wise

Out-of-the-blue cold calls

Some 23 per cent of all those surveyed said they’d talk with a cold caller that wanted to discuss their pension plans.

Nearly a quarter said they would ask for website details, request further information or find out what they’re offering, even if the call came out of the blue - despite the government’s ban on pension cold-calls this January.

The ban means that it is now illegal for legitimate companies to call you to discuss your information.

That means an unexpected call will undoubtedly be a scammer - no matter how realistic or professional it sounds.

Even if the phone number matches your bank or pension provider, it could still be a fraudster.

Spoofing scams means that criminals can make it look like they are calling from an official source.

Offering a free pensions review

Offering a free pension review is one of the tactics that criminals use to get access to your personal details.

Often, this can be enough to steal funds or commit identity fraud.

Or it could be a tactic to try and persuade you that there are better investment opportunities - in order to steal your money.

One in ten 45-54 year olds said that they would fall for this tactic.
They said they would pursue a free review - even if they have never heard of the company before.

Time-limited offers

Saying that an investment is time-limited is one of the tactics scammers use to pressure people into handing over their money.

Often, the reasons for the need for speed can seem legitimate.

They may say that it's a short term opportunity before a stock floats, or that lots of people want in on the deal so you need to act fast.

Legitimate companies will never try and pressure someone into a quick deal.
If you're feeling flustered, then hang up immediately.

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