Retirement scams are unfortunately commonplace and could ruin the happy plans people have for leaving the workforce. New research from PensionBee shared with Express.co.uk has shown the extent of this problem, revealing that only 57% of victims fully recover what they have lost.
The most common types of scams have been identified as phishing and identity theft.
These impacts affect 34% and 24% of victims respectively.
For the vast majority of people, scams were a devastating but one-time event.
However, research has also shown that around 20% of Britons have fallen for a scam more than once.
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Some people may have to adapt their retirement plans, while others may not be able to retire at all.
Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee, told Express.co.uk: “It is a sad reality that sophisticated criminals are preying on savers.
“Savers are simply looking to get the most out of their money in a confusing economic climate.
“Scammers can target anyone, so it’s crucial that all consumers remain vigilant when sharing personal information and refuse to engage with anyone who contacts them out of the blue.
“Our latest research indicates the importance of campaigns such as the ‘Scam Awareness Fortnight’ and requiring pension providers to remind their clients of the common signs of a pension scam.
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“These include cold calls, promises of early pension releases, too-good-to-be-true returns and free pension advice.”
A woman has told Express.co.uk how she was targeted by a pension scam and only discovered it while transferring her money.
She said: ‘When I found out I felt a bit shocked. Imagine if I had waited until retirement to find out!
“I also discovered that people don’t need to be registered to enroll me in a pension plan like they did with the person who invested in my pension.
“It felt like a violation and I could never trust anyone in these matters.”
PensionBee warned that a lack of awareness and knowledge can also make people susceptible to being scammed.
Their research showed that 20% of savers thought they could access their personal pension from age 50 or younger, without correctly identifying the actual age of 55.
This means that when scammers offer the possibility of accessing a pension before age 55, a common and harmful technique, individuals could easily fall victim to it.
Therefore, PensionBee urged individuals to always remain vigilant when it comes to their pension.
People should always be wary of contacts they receive out of the blue and do their research to avoid becoming a victim.