Following a few simple steps can help you check that a pension opportunity is genuine. You should not rely on the person contacting you to provide answers to the questions you have; instead you should carry out the following research yourself:
Carry out an internet search on the person, their firm and the pension opportunity they are promoting. If you cannot easily locate details or it/they look dubious, it is potentially a pension scam.
- Contact your pension provider or Government regulated bodies such as Pension Wise, the Pensions Advisory Service or the Money Advice Service for pension guidance in the first instance. Our Retirement Explained site can also help answer any pension questions you may have.
- Check you are speaking to a regulated financial adviser, firm or pension provider. The Financial Conduct Authority register enables you to do this. You can also call the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768. If you can’t find any details about the people who have contacted you it is likely to be a scam.
The FCA website is simple to navigate here is how you would search for Scottish Widows, for example:
- If a caller claims to work for a company that appears on the FCA Register, carry out an independent search for their phone number and contact them to ask if they employ the individual concerned.
- Do not proceed with any transaction that you have doubts about. You can contact the Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 for advice. If you expect that you have been the victim of a scam you should contact the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040.
Our Pension Basics in 30 seconds film also runs through how to spot a Pension Scam: