Many miss pension fraud warning signs – Zurich

Many miss pension fraud warning signs – Zurich

Pensioners must be vigilant and spot potential pension frauds, as a worrying numbers of savers are still vulnerable and could lose hard-earned savings, Gary Shaughnessy has said.

“Pensioners should be on their guard against firms who contact them out of the blue offering a free review of their pension or an investment which sounds too good to be true,” the Zurich UK Life chief executive said.

Half of over-50-year-olds are missing the giveaway warning signs of potential fraud and risky investments, according to a survey of 1,011 people in defined contribution schemes conducted by YouGov for Zurich.

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The research revealed that one in 10 would not be suspicious when faced with an investment opportunity for their pension by text message or cold call.

Some 54 per cent said they would consider at least one opportunity from a list of typical pension frauds if approached by an individual or company.

There was also evidence that messages about where to go for advice may not be getting through – 25 per cent said they would not know how to check if an investment was genuine.

Mr Shaughnessy said: “It pays to be cautious when making any decision on your retirement savings. Our advice is to reject cold calls, check with the FCA or Pension Wise and always seek trusted financial advice.”

Zurich UK Life research

· 38% said they would be willing to consider a ‘free review’ of their pension

· 23% would consider an ‘investment scheme offering annual returns over 8%

· 14% would consider a ‘legal loophole to pay less tax’

· 4% would think about a ‘one-off investment opportunity’

· Only just over a third (36%) said they would not consider any of the schemes

· Two in five (38%) would not be suspicious of an unsolicited letter

· One in five (22%) would not be dubious of an email

· One in 10 would not regard a knock at the door as suspicious (13%)

· One in 10 would not be wary of a cold call (10%)

Adviser View

Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Fraudsters pose a big risk to pension savers. Investors should be extra vigilant when it comes to their pensions. They should only deal with firms that are regulated by the FCA.”