Pensions  

Tool launches to help pension transfer clients identify scams

Tool launches to help pension transfer clients identify scams
 

Help & Advice has introduced a scam predictor to allow those considering a pension transfer to check whether they are at risk of being scammed.

Help & Advice's tool, part of People-tech, works by asking a range of straight forward questions relating to the tactics that a pension scammer might use to coerce people into transferring their pension and no personal details are needed. 

Once complete, the pension scam predictor displays a likelihood of the pension transfer being a scam, listing the red flags and explanations. 

If concerns are identified, it then instructs the individual to stop doing anything further with the transfer, contact the adviser to get answers to questions raised and contact their pension company, pension administrator, the employer or trustee to which the pension relates and ask to stop any transfer payment.

It also urges individuals to report to the Financial Conduct Authority and Action Fraud.

People-tech founder Saq Hussain, said: “The cost-of-living crisis will inevitably lead to an increasing number of people becoming vulnerable to pension scammers and we want to do what we can to help protect them. 

“The Help & Advice Pension Scam Predictor is free, simple and easy to use and provides a sense check, raising warning flags based on their answers to a range of questions, with clear signposts about what to do next.” 

This comes following recent news of an investigation by The Pensions Regulator into a £13mn pension scam.

According to TPR, past pension losses range from £1,000 to £500,000 and on average £50,000 per transfer. 

Last month, XPS Pensions said the number of scam warnings on defined benefit transfers was near a record high, despite a downward trend in transfer activity.

The XPS Red Flag Index identified that in March, seven in 10 (70 per cent) of transfer requests made across the month exhibited indicators of a scam. 

The rise represents the third consecutive monthly increase in the scam warning flags, which are up from two out of every three requests in February. 

XPS said it was the highest rate of scam flags since December 2020, when 76 per cent of requested transfers showed a sign of a scam.

sonia.rach@ft.com

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