The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is warning people about rogue pension websites that are carrying anti-scam messages to try to trick consumers into believing that they are legitimate businesses.
These websites have been flagged to TPR because they are designed to look like legitimate pension scheme investments.
Some of the reported websites suggest they are regulated by carrying warning messages designed to prevent people falling victim to fraud, such as making reference to the tax implications over accessing your pension before the age of 55 and the danger of cold-callers.
They also carry Project Bloom campaign material without TPR’s consent. This is a taskforce set up to tackle pension scams, which is led by TPR. It includes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, City of London Police (Action Fraud) the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, The Pensions Advisory Service, and the National Crime Agency.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing
This warning comes after the DWP announced that it will bring in legislation for a cold-calling ban, tighter rules to prevent the opening of fraudulent pension schemes and restrictions to prevent transfers into scam schemes.
TPR Chief Executive Lesley Titcomb said: “These sites are wolves in sheep’s clothing, lying in wait for unsuspecting victims by portraying themselves as being beyond reproach.
“The truth is that this next generation of scam sites poses a real threat to people’s financial futures and should be avoided.
“We welcome the Government’s tough new measures, which will strike a significant blow to pension scammers who devastate people’s lives by duping them out of their life savings.
“We are working closely with government, enforcement agencies and key financial service bodies to bring scammers to justice and, through our Scorpion campaign, to help the public protect themselves from scams.”
Anyone considering transferring their pension from their current provider should get advice from TPR first. There you can read tips on how to make sure you are not putting your financial future at risk by transferring your funds to a risky investment or scam. Visit the TPR website at: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling
0300 123 2040, or by using the online reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk