Cold calling pension scammers now banned from operating in the UK

Published:  9 Jan at 6 PM
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Cold-calling pension fraudsters in the UK are now banned from targeting vulnerable elderly pensioners.

Would-be expat retirees with private or work-related pensions should now be protected from pension fraudsters by a new law. Pension scammers who cold-call vulnerable pensioners offering free pension reviews are now banned from operating in the UK and face fines of £500,000 should they continue. The clampdown is long overdue, and is expected to end the practice of cold-calling by unscrupulous so-called IFAs. As many as eight scams every second have been reported, and many unsuspecting pensioners have lost their life savings as a result.

The new law makes it illegal to contact pensioners by phone unless previously requested to do so or if the recipient of the call is an established customer. Experts are already warning the ban may result in pension scammers calling from an overseas base, thus ensuring they’re outside the UK’s legal jurisdiction. It’s also possible that UK-based fraudsters may well claim they represent the client’s existing pension provider as these are still able to cold-call. According to former minister for pensions Ros Altmann, the message for the general public is very clear – it is never OK for anyone to cold-call about a pension.

The modus operandum of cold-calling pension fraudsters is relatively easy to spot, with the offer of a free pension review a trick to persuade unwary pensioners to transfer their cash to investments which, if they even exist, are risky at best and lethal at worst. Over the past four years, some £43 millions of savings for retirement have been literally stolen using these dodgy schemes. Especially at risk are British pensioners planning to relocate overseas, taking their pension pots with them to ensure a comfortable retirement. Cold-calling scammers are rife in Europe’s favourite retirement destinations, as are fraudulent IFAs selling unsuitable and often illegal investments.
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