One in four at risk of pension scam

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One in four at risk of pension scam
Pexels/Anna Tarazevich

Around one in four people could be at risk of a pension scam, according to analysis by

It conducted an analysis of the pension scam assessments - as recommended by Money Helper - completed between January and March 2023.  

The average scam likelihood score was 25 per cent, meaning that of the 1,562 people that completed the assessment, a quarter of cases had associated red flags.  

While a red flag does not guarantee a scam, it does mean further investigation is needed. 

Having tracked the data for over a year, found the potential likelihood of a scam consistently remained at around a quarter.

Almost one in five (17 per cent) people were told they could achieve higher investment returns should they transfer, perhaps in response to the market volatility seen last year.  

Pushing people to make a quick decision is often a red flag, and 15 per cent of people experienced this. 

Nearly one in 10 (9 per cent) were told the adviser knew of loopholes to access higher levels of tax-free cash, a substantial increase on the previous quarter where only 2 per cent were told this.

Saq Hussain, founder of, said: “Pension scammers are opportunistic and often one step ahead,  changing their tactics and the way they engage people depending on the current situation. 

“With the government announcing that the UK is to ban all cold calls selling financial products as part of a crackdown on scams, we sincerely hope that these practices finally come to an end and people are properly protected.”

Hussain said the company's year-long analysis gives some insight into some of the fraudulent activity that the government is trying to stop.

“This quarter also saw the highest ever number of pension scam assessments completed, a sign hopefully that people are becoming more scam aware and realising they need help identifying red flags before they make a decision that could have disastrous consequences,” he said. 

“We urge everyone considering a pension transfer to head first to our Pension Scam Assessment - its 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.”

The firm said its pension scam assessment tool was developed to help anyone considering a pension transfer.  

It asks 20 questions relating to the tactics that a pension scammer might use to coerce someone into transferring their pension. 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.

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