Beware of scammers – they’re after your money!
Protect yourself from financial scammers
Scam tactics include:
Contact out of the blue:
- Be particularly wary of cold calls, emails, texts or WhatsApp messages stating that your bank is in trouble and pushing you to transfer your money to a new bank with alternative banking details. Genuine contacts from banks are not made in this way.
Promises of very high or guaranteed investment returns:
- Beware of investments that appear to be too good to be true. If you decide to invest in something offering a high return or in a cryptoasset, you should be prepared to lose all your money.
- Pressure to make decisions quickly. Scammers want you to act before you’ve had time to think.
- Offers of free financial reviews, including pensions reviews
- Promises that you will be able to access your pension pot before age 55
- Asking you to hand over an upfront fee – usually between £25 and £450 – when applying for a loan or credit that you never get. .
- If someone claims to represent a firm authorised by the FCA to sell, promote, or advise on the sale of insurance products, you should check this on the FCA website before making any commitments.
- Scammers may contact you claiming to be from a Claims Management Company, insurance company or your credit card provider. They may say they can help you recuperate losses by submitting a claim, perhaps for a holiday you have had to cancel, and will ask you to send them some money or your bank details.
These tips can help protect you from scammers:
- Beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online - and reject any offers that come out of the blue.
- Never give out personal information if you receive unsolicited calls, emails or contacts through social media.
- Use the FCA Register and Warning List to check who you are dealing with.
- Don’t click links or open emails from senders you don't already know.
- Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision. Properly qualified and regulated advisers and schemes will always give you time to think things through.
- If someone offers you a free pension review – avoid it. Properly regulated independent advisers charge fees.
- Remember that currently you can legally only take pension benefits from age 55 onwards. So if someone says they have a scheme where you can take your pension benefits earlier than this, it’s a scam.
- Be very wary if you are advised to invest in unusual schemes, or investments which promise unrealistic returns.
- Always ask what fees those advising you will charge.