Warning over pension fund scam threat

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LABOUR’S Makerfield candidate has issued a stark pension fraud warning days after the new Freedom and Choice rules came into force.

She joined the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in speaking out because retirees are already being increasingly targeted by ever more sophisticated scammers.

A report from CAB, which operates the face-to-face element of the government’s guidance guarantee operation Pension Wise, analysed 150 case reports from consumers made in the run up to pensions freedom.

It said older people who fall victim to pension scams could be left “on the breadline” and highlighted one case where a retiree lost £200,000.

The report found people aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely to be targeted by fraudsters than the average Citizens Advice client who has come to the organisation to report a fraud or scam.

The organisation said it had identified five key types of pension scam including moving savings to a new pension, fake investment opportunities or offering free “advice” or services.

It’s evidential base echoes Yvonne Fovargue last speech in Parliament before dissolution in which she warned that the new freedoms and choice regime would lead to fraudsters preying on the pension pots of pensioners.

Ms Fovargue, a former CAB chief executive, said: “Scammers see pensioners as a prime target. Fraudsters can ruin people’s retirement plans and my advice is to anyone who feels unsure about a cold call or dodgy offer they have received about their pension should let someone else know and report it to the authorities. People can get help and support from Citizens Advice if they are worried they have been targeted by scammers.”