5 Ways To Spot A Pensions Con Artist
One of the consequences of the new pension freedoms due in April could be a rise in the number of con artists trying to get their hands on pensioners’ money. This guide of 5 ways to spot a pensions con artist should help to keep you on the right track.
Retired or retiring people are often high on con artists’ hit list and the new pension freedoms could encourage that even more. But follow these 5 tips and you’ll be a lot more likely to spot a con artist before it’s too late.
1. Cold Calling
If you receive an unsolicited call or email about your pension from somebody you have never heard of before then this is usually a good indicator of a con artist. There have already been cases of people cold calling and claiming to be phoning to discuss your pension options on behalf of the government. Any such call should be treated with caution.
Con artists aren’t described as “pushy” for no reason. If you find that you’re dealing with somebody who simply won’t take “no” for an answer when proposing financial products to you then this is a warning sign. Legitimate financial services workers are much less likely to persist on one particular scheme or product.
Also concerning is if you are chased for paperwork every couple of days. Legitimate financial services workers will be in less of a rush than the fraudsters that want to conclude a dodgy deal ASAP. If they ask you to use a ‘next day delivery’ courier then this should also be viewed as suspicious.
3. Lack of website or branded email address
If you are dealing with someone who is presenting you with different options for your pension pot, it is always worth doing a quick online search for their own name and their company name. If no company website appears then this is very likely to be a con artist since 99% of legitimate businesses these days have a website for potential customers to browse.
The email address you are asked to send things to is also a good indicator. If the address is branded then that doesn’t necessarily mean your contact is not a fraudster, but it is certainly more reassuring than dealing with someone who claims to be from a real company yet still uses a Gmail or Yahoo address.
4. Mention of overseas
If you are in contact with somebody who starts to promote investments overseas – particularly if they mention investments in something like car parking spaces or hotel rooms – then a lot of caution is advised.
Any investments overseas are worth discussing with a regulated adviser beforehand. It’s very easy to be tempted by an exotic investment plan, but unless you’re an expert on car parking spaces in the Middle East or hotel rooms in Asia then you should find an expert to ask before jumping into the unknown.
5. Any mention of access to your cash before 55
It is simply not possible to access your pension pot before 55. So anybody that approaches you promising a “loophole” or “trick” to gain access to that cash in advance should be avoided.
Photo credit goes to Carbon NYC [In SF!]