The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Be Aware of Scams

Posted in General News and Newsletters

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), supported by The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), say fears over the impact of the pandemic on markets and personal finances may make savers more vulnerable to scams or making a decision that could damage their long-term interests.

They are urging savers to take their time and visit the Pensions Advisory Service website for free plain English pensions guidance before making any decisions about their retirement savings. 

Watch out for scams related to Coronavirus.  These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities.  Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things.  They are also very likely to target the vulnerable.  Beware of investments that appear to be too good be true. 
For example, if you are under 55 and anyone tries to tell you that you can take a loan from your pension to tide you over don’t believe them – you can’t!
To help protect yourself you should: 

  • reject offers that come out of the blue
  • get the company’s name and establish their credentials using the FCA’s Financial Services Register
  • beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online
  • do not click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know
  • be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true
  • take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’
  • do not give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details)
  • seek financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements or making investments  

There is further advice on the FCA’s ScamSmart website about how to protect yourself and if you suspect you may have been contacted in what could be a scam.