Fraudsters are using social media networks, such as Linkedin, to find the next victims of their pension scams.
Speaking at Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) conference today (13 February) in London, Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of The Pensions Advisory Service (Tpas), said scammers are using the professional social network to target “people with different types of jobs in companies that are in difficulty”.
She said: “Linkedin Premium seems very high to us in this room to actually subscribe to.
“But for a scammer, it is a quite cheap premium to pay to get information on all people that work in one company that they know is going through some form of either scheme restructure or corporate restructure.”
According to Margaret Snowdon, chair of the PASA, pension savers have lost more than £1bn to scams.
The fact that fraudsters are using new forms to contact savers is a sign that the banning cold calling won’t work, Ms Cracknell argued.
She said: “While I welcome the ban on cold calling, there is a huge danger that we think this ban will sort things out, because it won’t.
“The scammers will already have moved on, they found other ways of contacting people.”
The introduction of a ban on cold-callers who try to scam people out of their pension savings, which will include emails and texts, was announced last year.
The government said today (13 February) that it is now working to speed up the introduction of this ban.
Ms Cracknell concluded: “Pension scams are something that we really need to tackle as an industry, because I don't believe that there will be any legislation that will solve this as an issue.”