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Degree-educated savers 'at risk of fraud' – BBC News, BBC News

Degree-educated savers 'at risk of fraud' – BBC News, BBC News


        

                                 File picture of older peopleImage copyright                 Getty Images                                                      
Image caption                                    Pensions have been stolen or put into high-risk schemes                             

Degree-educated savers are more at risk of losing their pension to fraudsters than those without the qualification, a survey by regulators has suggested.

Fraudsters often target those with larger pension pots, but also find a route to their victims by offering “free pension reviews”.

Some 14% of people with a degree told regulators they would accept a review from a company they did not know.

Actual pension scam victims lost an average of £ 82, 000 last year.

It would typically take somebody 22 years to build a pension pot of that level, according to the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator.

Pension scams start with an unexpected call, text, social media approach or email – offer ing a free pension review, or a way to make attractive returns on pension savings.

But the money may be simply stolen or transferred into a high-risk scheme completely inappropriate for retirement savings.

Many offer eye-catching returns or high-rolling investments in hotels or green energy schemes that never materialize, or instead lead to losses.

In the survey of 2, 000 people, 10% of those without a degree said they would accept such an approach, a lower proportion than those with the qualification .

Nicola Parish, from The Pensions Regulator, said: “Pension scammers ruin lives, stealing away decades-worth of savings with professional-looking websites, ‘expert’ advice and an easy manner making it tough to spot the fraud.

“But once you sign on the dotted line, often there’s no second chance. “

In January, the government introduceda ban on unsolicited callsoffering pension “deals” of this kind. Any firm found flouting the rules faces a fine of up to £ 500, 000, but experts suggest fraudsters may ignore the ban.

            

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