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Citizens Advice Waltham Forest urges people to be on their guard against pension scammers

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest is urging people in Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering to talk to loved ones about pension scams to protect them from becoming victims.

The local charity is raising awareness this Scams Awareness Month to help people avoid falling for fraudster’s tricks. Citizens Advice Waltham Forest wants people to follow a three-step rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

Research from national Citizens Advice shows that pension scammers’ tactics are becoming more sophisticated with fraudsters offering free pensions ‘advice’ or ‘reviews’ as a first step towards tricking people out of their pension pots.

The research also finds people are particularly at risk of scams from phone calls, post and emails which come out of the blue. As many as 10.9 million consumers have received unsolicited contact about their pension in the last year.

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest is warning people to be on their guard against pension scam warning signs, such as high investment returns of over 8% and offers to access your pension before the age of 55.

Suna Panayiotou, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Waltham Forest said:

“Talking to family and friends can be a good way to stay safe from pension scams.

“If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, it’s vital you report it and spread the word. By raising awareness, more people will know what warnings signs to look out for and how to report scams. Citizens Advice Waltham Forest can help if you are worried that you may have been targeted by scammers.

“If you are over 50 with a defined contribution pension, Pension Wise guidance can help you understand what pension scam warning signs to look out for. Citizens Advice Waltham Forest can help you book a Pension Wise appointment.”

How to avoid being scammed

  • Ignore any contact you receive about your pension out of the blue. This could be in person, online, on the phone or in the post
  • Never be rushed into making a decision
  • Check if the company contacting you is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • If you are unsure, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047
  • Look at the FCA’s Scamsmart warning list, which gives the names of investment schemes that are known scams. fca.org.uk/scamsmart
  • If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer or you have already accepted an offer you think is a scam, report it to Action Fraud
  • If you are over 50, Pension Wise guidance can equip you with the knowledge of what to look out for to avoid falling victim to scams. Visit gov.uk
  • Visit the Pension Regulator’s website to find out more about protecting yourself from pension scams: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk