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Published on:August 10, 2015Author:The Debt Advisor

Back in April we talked about the potential ‘wave’ of fraudsters that would be eager to relieve unsuspecting people of their pensions.

This was all on the back of the Pension Freedom Act which came into force at the beginning of April this year allowing anyone over the age of 55 to gain early access to their pension pots.

It’s been widely reported in the media that there have been many scams trying to separate the over 55s from their well-earned pension funds but news today from Citizens Advice says that this has recently gained momentum with two out of every five of its pension staff seeing people repeatedly targeted with pension scams. A further 10% of its workers saw people who had either responded or fallen prey to a scam.

The BBC has today also reported that fraudsters are increasingly offering to invest cash into other scams with individuals being told that they should invest their cash into fine wine or a property abroad, without really explaining what people will actually get and without being actually qualified to give financial advice, in many cases.

Apparently, many non FCA-regulated internet sites that are trying to get people to invest their pension funds are suggesting average returns of 12-15% per year and other similar bold, unsubstantiated claims.

Whichever methods scammers use, it shows that they are developing their techniques and getting more and more creative in their methods for separating people from their pensions. It highlights the need for the over 55s to be extremely vigilant when looking to liberate their pensions, always seeking independent, expert advice and never being rushed into anything.

Unfortunately we have seen plenty of cases where clients on formal insolvency plans, such as an IVA, have been conned out of their entire pension pots by scammers and even being left with a hefty tax bill to boot. We always advise clients only to deal with pension advisors who are regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and always sanity check any advice which recommends investing your pension in what may appear to be a high risk investment.

The Debt Advisor Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Debt Resolution Forum and we adhere to their strict codes and standards.

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