Scam awareness month
Scams have been on the rise since the pension freedoms were introduced.
Portafina, one of the UK’s leading pensions advisers, has reported 11 pension scam companies to Google this year. Research by the firm shows an increase in the number of scams people experienced around the introduction of pension freedoms, with a higher incidence the closer a person was to 55.
Pension scams, including offering pension release to people under the age of 55, can appear in Google’s search results. This includes the paid advertisements, which makes them likely to appear to a large number of people.
Portafina argues that education is key to helping people stay safe, and has a dedicated scam awareness FAQs page to assist people in identifying scams from genuine companies, and includes the report of its recent scams survey.
Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director of Portafina, said: “People need to be diligent in checking that firms are regulated. This year alone we have reported 11 companies to Google in the hope that their adverts are removed, and we have done this in the past as well. Firms offering scams often sound very convincing and some even have customer reviews, but it’s important to look closely – they usually say they are not FCA regulated. If they do not display an FCA number then they are not regulated.
“Unregulated firms cannot be reported on the FCA website, so people often do not know what to do. To help people report companies they believe to be running a scam, we have contacted Action Fraud, who have confirmed that people can report scams to them. Although scams are nothing new, the concern is retirees are an obvious target because they have easier access to their pensions than ever before.”
PR and Content Executive
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