Friday, 13 July 2018 11:57

Pension savers conned out of £51m in just 3 months

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City of London Police website City of London Police website

Pension savers have been cheated out of over £51 million by investment fraudsters in the first three months of the 2018/19 tax year, new analysis of official City of London Police figures by AJ Bell has revealed.

AJ Bell says the figures represent a significant increase on the investment fraud reported in the first quarter of 2017/18 (£30 million) and 2016/17 (£24 million).

Some £167 million in investment fraud losses were reported in 2017/18, with the average fraud victim aged 57.

The news comes after the Treasury yesterday confirmed that rules on banning pensions cold calling have been delayed at least until the autumn.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Every year thousands of people fall victim to investment scammers, with pensions – usually the most significant financial asset someone will have available to them – often the target.

“Indeed, these recent figures suggest the problem could be getting worse rather than better, yet the Government continues to prevaricate over introducing a ban on pensions cold-calling that was first announced in November 2016.

“While ministers delay, millions of hard-working savers are at greater risk of being targeted by financial fraudsters.

“The cynical targeting of often vulnerable older people by scammers has surged following the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015, with savers now free to withdraw their entire retirement pot from age 55.

“Sadly this represents an irresistible opportunity for fraudsters, who often lure people to invest in bogus schemes with the promise of outlandish guaranteed returns. These returns usually don’t materialise and sometimes the investment itself won’t even exist.”

 

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