Pensions Regulator  

Regulator launches anti-scam tools

Regulator launches anti-scam tools

The Pensions Regulator has developed a number educational tools to help advisers, trustees and consumers spot pension scammers.

The tools, which form part of the regulator's anti-scammer "Scorpion" campaign, include a five-step guide, an "online scam-spotting tool", a checklist for trustees and a downloadable poster.

They also include two videos - one directed at individuals, and one directed at trustees and business advisers.

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The checklist for trustees highlights a number of warning signs that a member is in danger of being scammed.

These include whether the scheme they want to transfer into is new or unregistered; whether it is a small self-administered scheme (Ssas); whether it is sponsored by a newly-registered or dormant employer; or whether it is connected to an unregulated company.

It also tells trustees to look out for words such as "loan", "savings advance", "cash incentive", "bonus", "loophole", "preference shares", "one-off investment opportunities", "free pension reviews" and "government endorsement", as well as any reference to overseas investments.

It warns consumers to hang up on cold callers and, if they are using a financial adviser, making sure they are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Pensions Regulator chief executive Lesley Titcomb said scammers were "criminals" and the watchdog is "clamping down on their activities".

"It is important that people help themselves by understanding the dangers of scams and the scorpion campaign provides the tools to do this. I encourage savers to visit to arm themselves with the facts.

She also welcomed the government’s proposed new measures against scammers, including a ban of pensions cold calling.