45% increase in reports of Pension fraud in Q1 of 2021

A recent article from Action Fraud has shown an increase in reports of pension fraud received in the first three months of 2021. There were 107 reports, an increase of almost 45% compared to the same period in 2020.

2020 saw over 637 reports of specific pension scams to Action Fraud, of which 545 were passed out to UK law enforcement for further action. Additionally, they received nearly 19,000 investment fraud reports across all sectors, although these figures are likely to be much higher than reported, due to victims often not realising that they have been scammed until many years later.

Results of a survey by The People’s Pension, conducted by YouGov, found that 0.46% of all UK adults questioned, said ‘I’ve been a victim of a pension scam, where someone has defrauded me of money from my pension pot’. These figures indicate that as many as 240,610 UK adults may have fallen victim to pension scammers at some point. Based on an average pension pot size of £60,700, this would mean that the total cost could be as high as £14.6 billion.

Action Fraud launched a national awareness campaign last week, with clear reminders to the public about the importance of doing research before making changes to pension arrangements. Scams often include free reviews of pensions and offer ‘too good to be true’ investment opportunities. Another common identifier are offers to help release money from the pension, aimed at people under 55.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“Criminals are malicious and unapologetic when it comes to committing pension fraud. They are motivated by their own financial gain and lack any kind of empathy for their victims, who can often lose their whole life savings to these scams.

“We know pension fraud can have a devastating impact, both financially and emotionally, but any one of us can fall victim to a fraud and it’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. It’s incredibly important that instances of pension fraud, and attempted scams, are reported to Action Fraud. Every report helps police get that bit closer to the people committing these awful crimes. Reporting to Action Fraud also allows our specialist victim-support advocates to provide people with important protection advice and signpost them to local support services.”

Nicola Parish, The Pensions Regulator’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, said:

“Pension scams are devastating with victims potentially losing life-changing sums.

“Savers must be cautious about making decisions about money that may have taken a lifetime to build, as it can be snatched away in an instant.

“Being ScamSmart and learning the signs of a scam can help prevent savers becoming a victim in the first place. Before making decisions about their pension, savers should visit The Pensions Advisory Service website for impartial guidance or get financial advice from an FCA-authorised financial adviser.

Savers should be able to be confident their pensions are secure. We want the pensions industry to help build that confidence by signing up our Pledge to Combat Pension Scams. By making the pledge, industry can show its intent to protect savers.”

How can Affiniti Finance assist law firms?

If your firm is managing pension mis-selling or similar financial mis-selling claims, we offer funding to assist your firm in running these types of claims. Our seamless API integration with your case management system allows you to submit funding requests and draw downs on a broad range of claims. By removing cash flow constraints on your business, our funding enables you to build your book of business and focus on running the claims at hand.

To discuss the funding of pension mis-selling claims for your Firm, or one of the many other claim types we support, contact us directly at enquiries@affinitifinance.co.uk and one of our dedicated team will be assigned to help you. You can also visit our financial mis-selling page here for more information: https://affinitifinance.co.uk/civil-litigation-financial-misselling/

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