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Cold calling about pensions

A ban on cold-calling about pensions came into effect yesterday (9 January).

Cold-calling is a common tactic used by fraudsters trying to steal life savings or persuade people to invest in high-risk schemes.

Around 240 million scam calls are made each year according to Money Advice Service (MAS), which is one every eight seconds. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found an average of £91,000 was stolen from victims.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Pension scammers are the lowest of the low. They rob savers of their hard-earned retirement and devastate lives. We know that cold-calling is the pension scammers’ main tactic, which is why we’ve made them illegal.”

If companies are found continuing to make unsolicited calls about pensions, they face a fine of up to £500,000. However, experts suggest fraudsters may ignore the ban and people are being warned to be on their guard.

Although the ban was originally announced in Autumn Statement 2016, it was dropped before the general election in June 2017 and the government has faced criticism over the how long it has taken to implement the ban.

Anyone receiving a cold call about their pension has been advised to report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Chris Slatter, Ellacotts Wealth Planning, Independent Financial Adviser said:

“The ban will hopefully mean less people will face losing their hard earned savings in scam schemes. Anyone looking to invest or switch their pensions and savings should seek professional advice from an Independent Financial Adviser to ensure they are getting the best advice for their circumstances.”