The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is warning people not to transfer money to rogue pension websites after reports of authentic looking, scam pension sites were discovered.
The scam websites, which attempt to trick users into paying into fake pension schemes, are disguising themselves as legitimate businesses by including warning messages about fraud and seemingly genuine information about accessing pension payments before the age of 55.
Despite their appearance TPR and Action Fraud are both advising people not to be duped by these unofficial websites.
The warning comes after the Department for Work and Pensions announced new legislation to prevent and stop pension fraud by banning cold-calling and tightening and restricting the rules to prevent fake schemes opening.
‘Wolves in sheep’s clothing’
The latest reports of scam pension websites are reportedly so legitimate looking that they even carry the Project Bloom campaign material without the TPR’s consent according to Action Fraud.
The task force was set up to stop pension scams and includes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, City of London Police (Action Fraud) the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, The Pensions Advisory Service, and the National Crime Agency.
TPR Chief Executive Lesley Titcomb said, “These sites are wolves in sheep’s clothing, lying in wait for unsuspecting victims by portraying themselves as being beyond reproach.
“The truth is that this next generation of scam sites poses a real threat to people’s financial futures and should be avoided.
“We welcome the Government’s tough new measures, which will strike a significant blow to pension scammers who devastate people’s lives by duping them out of their life savings."
Titcomb adds, “We are working closely with government, enforcement agencies and key financial service bodies to bring scammers to justice and, through our Scorpion campaign, to help the public protect themselves from scams.”