Pension scheme providers “urged” to report fraud in wake of Covid-19

Pension scheme providers have been “urged” to report criminal activity in a bid to stop scammers.

The report, published by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), comes after concerns that pension Fraud “could be on the increase”.

According to the latest statistics, pension scam reports have plummeted over the last decade, falling from 1,788 a year in 2014 to just 358 a year in 2020.

But the regulator suggests that scammers may simply be employing more sophisticated methods that are harder to detect.

While the cost of pension scams can range from under £1,000 to more than £500,000, the “true scale” of pension fraud may be significantly higher as victims “often don’t realise they have been tricked until many years later”.

“Once the money is gone, it is often gone for good,” said Nicola Parish, TPR’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation.

“And with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting many peoples’ finances – despite the unprecedented government support – there are fears scammers will use this to their advantage to steal hard-earned cash from savers.”

In a bid to prevent crime, TPR is now calling on pension scheme providers to sign up to its Pledge campaign to help combat pension scams.

As part of the campaign, the regulator has also launched new scams training for trustees and published a warning letter to those seeking to transfer out of a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.

Ms Parish added: “It’s vital the pensions industry reports suspected scams via Action Fraud, or by calling 101 in Scotland, which is why we made reporting one of the six principles in our Pledge to Combat Pension Scams campaign.”

To learn more about the Pledge campaign, please click here.

For help and advice, please get in touch with our expert payroll and pensions team today.

Posted in Covid-19 - Fraud.