Six ways to spot a pension scam

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Research has shown that most people are overconfident about their ability to detect financial scams. Pension scams are easier to fall for than you might think. With the average victim losing £82,000 to scammers, the consequences of being the target of scammers can be devastating. Stay safe by keeping these 6 points in mind.

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If in doubt, check it out

The Financial Conduct Authority has an easy to use ‘scamsmart’ guide, which can help you check you are not being taken for a ride.

Offers of ‘free pension reviews’

Unsolicited calls from people offering you a ‘free pension review’ should stand out in your mind as a big red flag. Reviewing your pensions can be a very sensible step, but do this by using an independent financial adviser. You can use the FCA site to find legitimate advisers in your area. A good IFA will use specialist software for financial advisers to check the whole of the market and find the best deals for you.

Guaranteed high return on investment

Anyone who tells you that your investment is guaranteed a high rate of return is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Visit an independent financial adviser, who can use software such as https://www.intelliflo.com/financial-adviser-software to find the most appropriate legitimate investments to help you achieve your financial goals.

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Access to your pension before age 55

Unless you are in the terrible position of becoming terminally ill before the age of 55, you will not be able to access your pension savings before the age of 55 without paying large penalties. If someone advises you otherwise, steer well clear.

‘Invest now or miss out!’

High pressure sales tactics and short time limits are designed to rush you into a bad decision without giving you time to think, or to seek independent advice. If you are feeling rushed into making an investment decision, stop. Legitimate investment schemes will always allow you the time you need to seek professional advice.

Minimising your concerns

A salesperson who brushes off your concerns is not acting in your interests. By consulting a legitimate independent financial adviser, you can be assured that your concerns will be fully explored, and your money will be protected from scammers. Even if your adviser gives you bad advice, you can seek compensation.

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