Victims of retirement scams lose on average more than £ 50,000, more than double the typical figure reported last year.
Action Fraud said complaint data showed the average loss this year has so far been £ 50,949, up from £ 23,689 in 2020.
But the losses in each case ranged from less than £ 1,000 to £ 500,000, and the actual numbers could be higher as many scams go unreported.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) wants retirement savers to “turn the tide” if they are approached online with tempting offers.
It means imagining how they would react if the same offer was made to them by a stranger in a pub, for example.
FCA research has found that retirement savers may be nine times more likely to take advice from someone online than they would be from a stranger in person.
Only 1.1% of pensioners would take advice from a stranger, but 9.95% would accept financial advice online.
They would also be five times more likely to be interested in a free foreigner’s pension review online than someone in their local pub.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market surveillance at FCA, said: “Imagine a stranger in a pub offering free retirement advice and then telling you to put those savings into something they were selling. It’s hard to imagine someone saying yes to that.
“It’s no different online. Whether you’re on social media or checking your emails, if someone offers you free retirement advice, ‘turn the context around’ and imagine them doing the same thing in real life. Stop and think about how you would react.
“Fraudsters will look for every opportunity to exploit the innocent, no matter how much they have saved.
“Check the status of a business before making a financial decision about your pension by visiting the FCA register. Be sure to only seek advice from a company authorized by the FCA to provide advice before making any changes to your pension arrangements. “
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This notice was published: 2021-07-06 23:01:00