As of 9th January 2019, companies that make unsolicited phone calls concerning peoples’ pensions may face enforcement action, including fines of up to £500,000.
Pensions fraud can be devastating as it can leave victims without any means to fund their years of retirement, and one of the most typical methods used by scammers is through cold-calling. Last August, Jennifer Ringstead, from the Vale of Glamorgan, told the BBC how she and her husband were devastated after losing their pension pots, which totalled more than £50,000, due to being scammed by a cold caller.
Research by the Money Advice Service advised that as many as eight scam calls every second could be taking place – totalling close to 250 million calls per year. In a previous blog, we also reported on the FCA’s research which revealed pension scam victims lost an average of £23 million in 2018, and that savers were seeking assistance from the ScamSmart site every 27 seconds.
The new ban prohibits cold-calling in relation to pensions, except where:
Chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, Lesley Titcomb, explained:
“The cold calling ban sends a very clear message – if anyone calls you about your pension, it’s an attempt to steal your savings. The ban draws a line in the sand for scammers.”