Pension savers lose £8m to scams in March – police figures

Tom Ellis writes

Pension scam losses hit a monthly post-pension freedom high of £8m in March, according to figures from the City of London Police.

The record £8.6m losses came from just 24 victims, and totalled more than the previous 12 months’ reported losses combined.

The previous post-pension freedom high was a reported £4.9m loss from a total of 78 victims in May 2015. Savers have now reported £42.5m worth of scams since April 2014.

The City of London Police said loss figures are reported by victims themselves, so human error needed to be taken into account when assessing the statistics.

Pension scams have been a major concern since the advent of pension freedom13 and research from earlier this year indicated two-thirds of advisers fear industry efforts will not do enough to stop scammers.

Retirement Advantage pensions technical director Andrew Tully argued the proposed governmnet ban on pension cold calling, which has been temporarily shelved due to the upcoming General Election, needs to be set back on track as soon as possible.

“Pension scammers are a modern day scourge, as reported fraud losses are counted in the millions,” he said.

“Pension freedoms are providing more choice for savers but have also opened up the market to conmen and fraudsters who prey on the vulnerable and those hoping for early access to their pensions.”