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Pension scams

Such scams happen when criminals exploit the pension liberation provision. First, they advise the victim to review their account to reduce tax or get higher cash benefits. Then, they offer free reviews and guarantee a refund of all the related fees or falsely represent the anticipated returns from the offered scheme.

They target people with the highest deposits in their account and can access their pension pot, and their age is around 55 years.

They make unsolicited calls, send text messages, or sell in person door-to-door.

They lure into a one-off deal and then ask for refundable deposits to get the benefit.

How To Protect Yourself?

  • If you get any such call, hang up. Check the credentials of the individuals or firms offering the deal. For example, it should be registered with the FCA, and the other clients should have posted positive reviews.

  • Ask for statements and details of returns or profits, and seek expert advice. 

  • Never buy any such plan in a hurry. Instead, discuss the offer with friends and take your time to decide. 

  • Do not accept unusual offers, high-risk, unregulated and those that have no consumer protection. Beware of terms used like “one-off”, “saving advance”, or “cash back.”

  • Avoid deals claiming they can get better returns through unapproachable complicated projects where the money is blocked for years, like renewable, overseas properties or forestry projects. 

  • They offer free pension review and claim they can release cash from the account before 55 – but they may not tell about the tax bills on such withdrawals. 

  • Avoid complicated schemes where the sales representatives use high-pressure tactics or send couriers with documents and wait to get the signed copies in a few days. 

  • Avoid the deals where one may not be able to get their investment back for several years. These are the projects where one may not realise the problems in the scheme for many years. 

  • If you suspect a fraud, report it to the authorities.

Date Published: Sep 18, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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