Pension scams

Fraudsters know how to make a pension scam look like an amazing deal.

Learn the warning signs and how this scam works to keep your money safe.


Warning signs of a pension scam

A guarantee of higher returns

Fraudsters might promise to grow the money in your pension or offer interest rates that are higher than everyone else.

Access to your pension before 55 years old

Fraudsters may tempt you by offering to release cash early from your pension.

An unusual, complicated or long-term investment

Fraudsters make pension deals difficult to understand so they can control your decisions.

Higher than normal fees

Fake deals often involve lots of people or companies and they’ll all charge separate fees.

The methods behind a pension scam

Fraudsters pretend to be genuine companies

Do you know how to tell if a company is genuine or fake?

Use the register of companies and advisers on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

The FCA site also has a warning list of scams.

This list can help you to avoid fraudsters who create fake companies or hide behind genuine names.

Fraudsters create fake websites

To make a scam seem real, fraudsters build fake company websites.

These sites may have genuine information about pensions. They can also have reviews that have been made up by the fraudsters.

Always use the FCA site to find genuine contact details for a company, like phone numbers and a website address.

Fraudsters like to add their own contact details to fake websites, social media posts, emails and texts.

Get Safe Online has a free website checker that you can use to spot a scam site.

Is an offer too good to be true?

If a company promises something that nobody else can offer, it’s a warning sign of a scam.

Fraudsters use things like high interest rates and getting cash out of your pension early to tempt you into a fake deal.

Make sure a pension deal is real by using ScamSmart on the FCA website.

Did they contact you out of the blue?

Fraudsters like to email or text pension deals out of the blue. Never reply to any message like this, just delete it.

If you get a cold call about your pension, hang up the phone.

You can report this kind of call to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Fraudsters also advertise pensions online. They hope that people in the middle of a scam will tell others about this ‘great deal’.

Always do your own checks to make sure a deal is real.

Do they put you under pressure?

Before you make a decision about a pension offer, take your time to check that it’s genuine.

Fraudsters will use things like short deadlines and amazing offers to push you into a quick decision.

If a company or adviser puts you under pressure, walk away. It’s more than likely a scam. 

Have you done any research or got advice?

Always do your own research before you choose a pension or use a company or adviser.

You usually have to pay to get financial advice.

Fraudsters will offer free advice or a free pension review.

Call the FCA to check if a financial adviser is genuine.

Use a firm that’s approved by the FCA to get protection under the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 

You can be scammed more than once

If fraudsters scam you they could target you again with a different scam. They may also sell your details, so other fraudsters can try to scam you.

Fraudsters can offer to get your money back from an earlier scam, or to buy back a fake investment. But they’ll want you to pay a fee upfront.

Further help and how to report a pension scam

Learn about other scams and how to protect yourself

Learn about the latest scams

Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to try to steal your details and money. Discover which scams are common right now.

Go to latest scams

Have you been targeted by fraudsters?

Contact us right away if you think you've been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

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Stay scam safe

Find out how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud

Stay scam safe

Find out how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud