In the news

17th November 2020

Are you on the ball? ScamSmart campaign targets football fans

In the last three years, over £30m has been lost to pension scammers, with losses ranging from under £1,000 to £500,000, with some rare cases topping the £1m marker. A new ScamSmart campaign is aimed at football fans, after discovering they are highly likely to be drawn in by fraudsters targeting long-term pension savings.

Research1 found that just 43% of football fans approaching retirement knew how much was in their pension pot, with 45% not knowing how to check if an approach about their pension was legitimate. This compared to 76% knowing the cost of football-related items, such as a season ticket. 

Teaming up with football commentator Clive Tyldesley, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator have reminded savers to check who they are dealing with before making any changes to their pension arrangements, reject any unwanted offers and to get advice.

Clive Tyldesley commented, “Scammers are very good at breaking down your defences and putting you under pressure with various deadlines. But your pension isn’t a football transfer – there are no deadlines! Your favourite team wouldn’t buy a new striker just because his agent says he’s good. They’d ask around, check out his stats, do some research – just like you should when handling your pension plans. Before you fall foul to savvy scammers, remember to take your time, seek advice, and speak to an FCA-authorised adviser. Don’t agree to anything you’re unsure of.”

Animal lovers lose £300k

During March and April, Action Fraud reported 669 people lost a combined total of £282,686 in deposits paid for pets advertised online, which didn’t even exist. Criminals took advantage of lockdown restrictions to justify why the fraud victims were unable to visit their prospective pet before committing to the purchase. After paying the initial deposit, more funds were typically requested to cover insurance, vaccinations and delivery of the pet.

Private pension age rise confirmed

In September, the government confirmed the private pension age will increase from 55 to 57 in 2028, meaning those retiring in future will have to wait longer to access their pension.

1FCA, 2020

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.