Advice column: pension scams

Thursday 8 September 2016

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on pension scams.

I have read about people being conned out of their pensions. What steps should I take to make sure I don’t fall victim to a pension scam?

Citizens Advice research shows that pension scammers’ tactics are becoming ever more sophisticated with fraudsters offering free pensions ‘advice’ or ‘reviews’ as a first step towards tricking people out of their pension pots.

The research also finds that as many as 10.9 million consumers have received unsolicited contact about their pension in the last year. Warning signs include high investment returns of over 8% and offers to access pensions before the age of 55.

To avoid falling for fraudster’s tricks, we want people to follow our three-step rule:

  1. get advice,
  2. report it, and
  3. tell others about it.

Our top tips to avoid being scammed

  • Ignore any contact you receive about your pension out of the blue. This could be in person, online, on the phone or in the post
  • Never be rushed into making a decision
  • Check if the company contacting you is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • If you are unsure, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047
  • Look at the FCA’s Scamsmart warning list, which gives the names of investment schemes that are known scams.
  • If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer or you have already accepted an offer you think is a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
  • If you are over 50, Pension Wise guidance can equip you with the knowledge of what to look out for to avoid falling victim to scams. Visit
  • Visit the Pension Regulator’s website to find out more about protecting yourself from pension scams:

To arrange a free Pension Wise appointment call 01392 690217 or drop into the Citizens Advice Exeter offices in Dix’s Field.

Look out for our column next week when we focus on problems with holiday bookings.

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Citizens Advice website at