How to avoid a pension scam
It’s easy to tell a legitimate financial adviser from a scammer when you know what to look for.
How do I know if I can trust a financial adviser?
The easiest way to find out if a financial adviser is legitimate is by checking the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register. Regulated financial advisers must be registered with the FCA, so if they are not listed then they are not authorised to provide advice. Scammers may try to trick people that they are authorised advisers, so it is important to check. If you are contacted by a company offering financial advice or services but they are not on the register, you should avoid dealing with them.
In case you're wondering, Portafina Investment Management Ltd's FCA registration number is 754580.
Where can I get financial assistance?
The government launched Pension Wise, a free retirement guidance service, earlier this year. Provided by the Citizens Advice Service and the Pensions Advisory Service, it explains the available options at retirement, but does not offer actual advice or personal recommendations. Unbiased and vouchedfor.com both list regulated advisers.
Can I report a company I think is offering scam investments?
Yes! Firstly, you can check the FCA’s ScamSmart warning list to see if the investment is already listed. Secondly, you can report any company you think is a scam to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.
Are there many scams?
Yes! Although it is impossible to have an exact number, there are many scams to watch out for and it is possible for some to appear in Google’s paid adverts. Many people are not confident that they could tell a scam from a legitimate financial offer, though, and evidence suggests people are more likely to be targeted by scams when they are aged 55-59. Always check a company is regulated and then you are protected.
10 ways to avoid a finance scam
Ensure the company is real and legitimate
Don't supply banking or credit card information
Be wary of unrealistic claims
Don't send any money
Don't feel pressured or obligated
Beware the fluency
Beware "guaranteed returns"
Don't believe everyone else is doing it
Pay attention to the little details
Scam awareness…how do you compare?