Research for the FCA-TPR ScamSmart campaign found that 22 years worth of pension savings could be stolen by scammers in as little as 24 hours.
The research uncovered that:
• Nearly two-thirds (63%) of people would “trust” someone offering pensions advice out of the blue
• More highly educated people are more at risk
• On average scammed pension savers lost £82,000 in 2018 - 22 years of pension savings for some
The FCA and TPR are re-launching their ScamSmart campaign to encourage people to protect a lifetime of savings and be aware of the dangers, however educated or confident they are.
Survey analysis by the joint FCA-TPR ScamSmart campaign found that it could take 22 years for a saver to build a pension pot of £82,000 – the average amount victims lost to scams in 2018.
ScamSmart says the money can be stolen by scammers within 24 hours with almost 1 in 4 people (24%) surveyed admitting to taking 24 hours or less to decide on a pension offer.
Despite the threat, 63% say they would likely trust someone offering pensions advice out of the blue – one of the main warning signs of a scam.
Surprisingly, the more highly educated the person, the more likely they are to fall for a pension scam, says ScamSmart.
Those with a university degree are 40% more likely to accept a free pension review from a company they’ve not dealt with before and 21% more likely to take up the offer of early access to their pension pot.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Pension scammers destroy those dreams, often forever.”
Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation, TPR, said: “Pension scammers ruin lives, stealing away decades’ of savings with professional-looking websites, ‘expert’ advice and an easy manner making it tough to spot the fraud.”
Pension savers can now test how ScamSmart they are by taking a quiz on the ScamSmart site. Visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart .
• The data for the survey came from two Censuswide surveys of just over 2,000 adults carried out in June and October.