Younger people are also more susceptible to cold-call tactics with 15 per cent of 18-34 year olds with a pension saying they would accept a phone call from someone they don’t know about their pension, compared to only 1 per cent of those aged 55 and over.
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The Covid-19 lockdown will inevitably push millions of people into a financially vulnerable position, with job losses, pay cuts and furloughing all potentially weighing on the nation’s finances.
“In such an environment, it is inevitable scammers will look to take advantage by attempting to coerce savers to part with their hard-earned pensions.
“While getting access to your pension before age 55 may be tempting during this period of uncertainty, doing so will as a minimum see you hit with a 55 per cent unauthorised payment charge from HMRC in the first instance.
“At best you’ll then be subject to sky high fees by the fraudster as well, meaning you only get a fraction of your pension back and your retirement prospects are left in tatters. Many people lose everything as a result of these types of scams.”
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