There has been a recent development in the joint operation currently being run by The Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) and Essex Police investigating an alleged pension fraud which entailed 370 people transferring a staggering £18million into eight dubious pension schemes. It is reported that six people were questioned by police in the lead up to Christmas on suspicion of offences of fraud, resulting in the arrest of a further two individuals. The Regulator and Essex Police first launched the investigation when a number of legitimate pension companies notified them that they had been asked to make transfers into what appeared to be scam schemes. This news reiterates the importance of being alert to scams that are currently plaguing the pensions industry. Warning signs that your pension was transferred into a scam scheme include:-
- You were cold called or spam emailed: unscrupulous companies use these methods to mass market unsuitable investment products.
- You were promised high returns and big rewards: high rewards come with high risk investments which are only suitable for experienced investors.
- The scheme into which your pension was transferred was newly formed: scam companies have no track record.
- You cannot now trace your money and the new pension scheme has failed.
If you think you may have transferred your pension into a scam pension scheme, Hugh James’s Financial Mis-Selling team can help.