Some victims of pension scams have lost more than £1m in savings each to fraudsters, new statistics have revealed.
Intelligence gathered by members of the multi-agency Project Bloom group, which was set up to tackle pension scams, has found some people who had more than £1m in savings have lost their retirement funds to criminals.
New Action Fraud data reveals that two people have reported they lost the seven-figure sums. However, it’s believed the majority of scam victims never contact the authorities, therefore this total may only be a fraction of the total number of people who have handed over such large pension pots.
On average, victims of pension scams lost £91,000 each to fraudsters in 2017. They reported receiving cold-calls, offers of free pension reviews and promises that they would get high rates of return - all of which are key warning signs of scams.
A ban on pension cold-calling came into force in January 2019 and firms who break the rules could face penalties of up to half a million pounds.
Research conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) highlights that a large proportion of pension holders consider themselves to be too savvy to be scammed.
Nicola Parish, The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) executive director of frontline regulation, said: “Victims of scams are often traumatised by what has happened to them and many inevitably are left questioning how they are going to afford to retire.
“However large your pension pot, you must be vigilant and able to spot and avoid a scam.”
The partners in Project Bloom are planning how they can work closer together to target those responsible.