14 September 2020

Be extra vigilant of pension scams!

With fraudsters trying to take advantage of the widespread anxiety caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s more important than ever to protect your savings and make sure you don’t fall for a scam.


Transferring your pension

During this uncertain time, members of many pension schemes might look to transfer their pension and this could make them a prime target for pension scammers. If you are thinking of transferring your pension, please be extra vigilant, and visit ScamSmart and where you can find specific guidance relating to COVID-19.
Transferring your pension without fully understanding the consequences poses a significant risk. Scammers are known to be taking advantage by rushing decision-makers into illegal transfers.

Please, consider speaking to an independent financial adviser (IFA) who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority before making any decisions about your finances. You can find a list of IFAs in your area at


Recognising pension scams

Fraudsters may try to offer some, or all, of the following to lure you into a scam:
  • early access to your pension (before 55)
  • guaranteed returns on investments
  • free pension reviews and health checks
  • pension loans or cash upfront 
A cold call or unsolicited text or email will often contain some of the phrases listed above.

Protect your pension

Here are some tips on how to make sure your pension savings are protected:
  • Don’t engage with cold calls (and texts or emails)
  • Check, check and check again before you agree to anything to do with your pension
  • Make sure your adviser is on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved register
  • Check the FCA’s list of known scams
  • Don’t fall for professional-looking websites or brochures
  • Don’t rush or be rushed
Scammers are very clever and make sure they sound legitimate so you think they are honest, credible, and have your best interests at heart.

Get more information and help

You must seek independent guidance and advice before you make any decision about your pension.
Don’t ever be rushed into a decision. You can contact MoneyHelper if you need advice.
And if you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, please report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.