Crime

Pension fraud hits £1.8m in 2021

While pension fraud cases had reportedly declined 80% from 1,788 in 2014 to 358 in 2020, the first quarter of 2021 represents a 45% year-on-year spike in reports

Some £1.8m has been lost to pension fraud in the first three months of 2021, according to fraud and cybercrime reporting centre Action Fraud.

The organisation has called for savers to “remain vigilant and protect their pensions” as 107 cases have already been reported since the turn of the year.

While pension fraud cases had reportedly declined 80% from 1,788 in 2014 to 358 in 2020, the first quarter of 2021 represents a 45% year-on-year spike in reports.

Pauline Smith, head of the body, said that it is “incredibly important that instances of pension fraud” are reported to Action Fraud.

She added: “Every report helps police get that bit closer to the people committing these awful crimes. 

“Reporting to Action Fraud also allows our specialist victim-support advocates to provide people with important protection advice and signpost them to local support services.”

To prevent future scams, the organisation urged people to reject unexpected pension opportunities, research who you are dealing with, avoid being pressured into decisions, be suspicious of “out of the blue” calls, and visit the ScamSmart website.

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “The best way to protect yourself is to know who you’re dealing with

“Unexpected and unsolicited offers, free pension reviews, promises of high returns which sound too good to be true and pressure to make a decision quickly are all warning signs of scam.”

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