You’ve worked hard for your pension. Don’t put it in danger.

There are lots of different pension scams. But many of them start the same way – with a call, text or email out of the blue from a company you have not dealt with before offering a ‘free pension review’ or a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ investment opportunity that promises high returns and no risks.

Most scammers are trying to do the same thing – get you to transfer your pot to something that either lets you access your money before you’re 55, take a bigger tax-free lump sum than the law allows or invest in something which is high risk. They might even offer you a cash incentive.

If you fall for a scam, you could lose some or all of your pension pot. You could also face a big tax bill, or find out you’ve been a victim of fraud.

Here are 5 ways to stay safe:

  1. Be wary of anyone you have not dealt with before who contacts you out of the blue to talk about your pension. This type of cold calling is illegal and legitimate companies never do this. You should end the call immediately and contact the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113.
  2. Question everything, however credible it looks or sounds. Anyone can make a glossy brochure. And if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Some scammers use names and web addresses that are very similar to legitimate companies to try and catch you out.
  3. Make sure any company you talk to is authorised by the FCA. You can check on their register.
  4. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a decision – there’s no such thing as a ‘one-time only’ deal. If anyone pressures you, hang up the phone, delete the email or leave the room.
  5. Get financial advice before you make any big decisions about your money.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, call Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040 and tell us.

You can get more information from The Pension Regulator website; and the FCA’s ScamSmart site.