'Don't get suckered in': Scams warning animation launches

'Don't get suckered in': Scams warning animation launches

Communication consultancy Quietroom has urged pension firms to put its anti-scams animation on their websites to help people detect scams.

A three minute video, titled Pension Scammers: Don't Get Suckered In, starts by explaining how people can spot scammers, methods they hide behind and what people can do to avoid being scammed.

It mentions free pension reviews, guaranteed profit promises sent via letters and too good to be true investment opportunities being offered as warning signs of a scam.

In its animation, Quietroom said there are three things people can do to not be caught by a scam.

The first is to not be charmed by people offering free consultations or meetings, adding real pension companies “aren’t that charming”.

The second is to not act quickly as real companies would want savers to think carefully about their decisions.

Finally, people can find out if they are dealing with a scammer by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority.

Quietroom stated: “Everyone in the pensions industry is very welcome to put this animation on their website, to help people avoid pension scams. 

“We've tried to make it a bit more engaging than your average scams warning, and we'd love to know what you think of it.”

Data published by Action Fraud in January showed in 2020 individuals reported average losses of £45,242 when investing with fraudsters imitating genuine investment firms.

Toby Bentley, financial adviser at Lathe & Co, said: “The concept of a pension scams animation is definitely a step in the right direction. During the pandemic where people have been spending more time online than ever before, there has been a huge increase in cybercrime and the way in which pension scammers operate is evolving. 

“If scams are moving away from leaflets and calls to online criminal activity, then their prevention should too. Vulnerable customers who are targeted by pension scams shouldn’t have to rely solely on an outdated, one page disclaimer."

Ian Beestin, co-founder of Money Alive, added: “The more people who are aware of this hideous crime, the better really. It is really about pausing and thinking about it.”

However, he was concerned that firms would not be able to tell how many people had watched the video.

Beestin added: “They offer it as a free option and the challenge with that is that you don't know whether people have watched it, or whether they've necessarily engaged with it.”

The industry has come together on scams recently, with 17 groups, including adviser trade body Pimfa, calling for the Online Safety bill to include scam ads as a means of ensuring consumers are better protected against the financial and emotional harm caused by fraudsters. 

In the Queen’s Speech earlier this year (May 11), a new version of the Online Safety bill was introduced to include financial fraud and user-generated online scams but not fraud via advertising, emails or cloned websites.