Hertfordshire police issue fraud warning ahead of pension regulation changes

Police have issued a warning about a possible rise in pension fraud after regulations change next we

Police have issued a warning about a possible rise in pension fraud after regulations change next week. - Credit: Daniel WIlson

Pension fraud is likely to rise after new government rules come into effect next week, Herts police have warned.

From April 6 people will have greater access to their pension funds from the age of 55, but this could bring about more opportunities for criminals.

The police think more investment scams could now take place by people who are seeking to take advantage of the regulation changes.

Although pension fraud is not a new crime, officers believe fraudsters may try to take advantage of the complex pension regulations and the many options available to confuse and mislead pensioners.

They may be offered an investment opportunity that delivers poorer returns than promised, with high charges and hidden costs, or in the worst cases an entire pension pot could disappear.

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People are being encouraged to look out for an increase in cold calls about pension investments, encouragement to take a lump sum, asking for money transfers and being asked to provide personal information such as a phone number or address.

Insp Paul Lawrence from Herts police’s Crime Reduction Unit said: “The new rules governing pensions give fraudsters another angle to try and trick people out of their hard earned money.

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“Before people commit to anything, it is vitally important that they take steps to ensure the offers are legitimate and the government’s Pension Wise web page will help them to do this.”

Using a Financial Conduct Authority registered company or advisor is a good place to start when planning your future pension investments – visit www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/register to find out more.

For more advice on the subject you can also log on to www.pensionwise.gov.uk.

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