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Crime: Warning over Investment and Pension Scams as one Kent victim loses £400,000

Contributed by editor on Jul 25, 2017 - 04:55 PM

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Recent changes that allow people to access their pension pots from age 55 have sparked new scams by fraudsters who want to get their hands on your money.
 


Another common financial scam is one where criminals offer investments which promise great rewards but in fact offer little or no return.

In April 2017, Kent residents lost over £470,000 to investment and pension scams with one victim losing over £400,000 of their UK pension when a scammer convinced them to reinvest it in an international fund which later went into administration.

As part of Scams Awareness Month, Kent County Council (KCC) is working in partnership with Citizens Advice to warn people about the type of financial scams targeting Kent residents and the steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

Watch out for:

• Companies that offer a ‘loan’, ‘saving advance’ or a ‘cashback’ from your pension, or talk about new investment techniques.
• Offers of ‘pension reviews’ or new ways to get hold of your pension income before age 55 in exchange for a fee, for example, by transferring your savings to a different scheme.
• An offer to invest in stocks and shares in wine, jewellery, carbon credits or land with rates of return that seem too good to be true. The scammers may call you several times and may even have details of previous investments you’ve made.
• Legitimate products that are overvalued – for example shares that exist but have little or no resale value.
• ‘Pyramid’ investment schemes, where you are asked for a fee to join and then need to recruit friends and family members to the scheme in order to get a return.

How to avoid being scammed:

• Be wary if someone contacting you only has a mobile phone number and a PO Box address.
• Don’t buy from newspaper adverts or marketing leaflets unless you are sure that they’re genuine.
• Remember- if their address is overseas your usual consumer rights may not apply or could be very difficult to enforce.
• Listen to your doubts. If you think the offer sounds too good to be true, you may well be right.Learn more about making good investments by contacting the Money Advice Service.
• Contact The Pensions Advisory Service to get free, independent pension advice and find out more about accessing your pension pot. Call them on 0300 123 1047.

 

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