Scammers stole over £30m from UK pension savers and football fans are likely victims

From: RegTech Analyst

Regulators warn that pension savers have lost over £30m to scammers as people know more about football than about their own lifetime savings. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said that a total of £30,857,329 has been stolen by pension scammers since 2017, according to complaints filed with Action Fraud.

Scammers targeted pension pots big and small, with reported losses ranging from under £1,000 to as much as £500,000 and the average victim being a man in his 50s.

The research also suggested that football fans approaching retirement were particularly prone to fall victim to scams, with just 43% knowing how much is in their pot and 45% not knowing how to check if an approach about their pension is legitimate.

To raise awareness about the risks of scams, the regulators have launched a new ScamSmart campaign and teamed up with legendary football commentator Clive Tyldesley.

“Scammers are very good at breaking down your defences and putting you under pressure with various deadlines,” said Tyldesley. “But your pension isn’t a football transfer – there are no deadlines! Your favourite team wouldn’t buy a new striker just because his agent says he’s good. They’d ask around, check out his stats, do some research – just like you should when handling your pension plans. Before you fall foul to savvy scammers, remember to take your time, seek advice, and speak to an FCA authorised adviser. Don’t agree to anything you’re unsure of.”

Interestingly, the regulators found that while 76% of footie fans know the cost of items related to their team, such as a football shirt or season tickets, only 43% knew how much was currently in their pension pot.

“During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to defend your lifetime savings from scammers,” said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA. “Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much or how little you have saved. You can check the status of a firm before changing your pension by visiting the FCA register, and get advice from an FCA authorised firm before making any changes to your pension. And give scammers the boot!”

Charles Counsell, Chief Executive, TPR, added, “Scammers wreck lives and no matter how big or small your savings are, every pot is a target. It may seem tempting to make a change to your pension fund now, but it’s important not to rush. Before making any decision about your pension, take your time, and visit the ScamSmart website to always check who you are dealing with.”

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

Enjoying the stories?

Subscribe to our daily FinTech newsletter and get the latest industry news & research


The following investor(s) were tagged in this article.