An anti-scam campaign will run for the next four weeks to help improve awareness of fraudsters' common traits, following concerns they are increasingly targeting pension fund members.
The Scams Awareness Month campaign, led by Citizens Advice and the Trading Standards Services, gives companies the opportunity to raise awareness of specific scams during the whole of July.
This includes releasing different scam-related information and advice packs each week. The first week will look at telephone scams followed by online scams from Monday 11 July, and postal mail scams from Monday 18 July and doorstep scams from Monday 25 July. The campaign also has an interactive map of scams nationwide.
An estimated half a billion pounds has been lost to pension scams in general according to The Pensions Regulator (TPR). However, it expects the actual amount of funds transferred into liberation schemes is likely to be substantially higher and not all activity is reported.
The watchdog said the precise scale of pension scams is not easy to calculate since those involved in tax evasion or fraud do not seek to draw attention to their actions, and fraud victims are often reluctant to come forward.
TPR revamped its scorpion campaign in March to warn of the dangers of scams after people were still falling victim to them.
A spokesman welcomed the launch of Scams Awareness Month: "Anything that draws people's attention to the dangers of pension scams can only help protect savers.
"We have seen evidence scammers have shifted focus to investment related scams, enticing people who have drawn their benefits out of schemes and those who have a pension fund to transfer.
"These people are chameleons, and will adapt their techniques to target new victims. Whatever the law is, they will seek to exploit it - so we expect the scams we see to continue to evolve in light of the new flexibilities available to retirement savers."
TPR has also laid out five steps to help business protect their members' pension pots from scammers, including to proactively engage with members at risk, direct members to The Pensions Advisory Service, and raise the alarm.
Old Mutual Wealth pensions expert Jon Greer added: "The pension freedom changes that came into force in April 2015 have changed the shape of pension scams as they gave people easier access to their funds from the age of 55.
"With access now less of an issue, the scammers are simply looking for savers to withdraw their funds and divert their savings into other investments with the promise of amazing returns, which often fail to materialise."
PP recently reported scammers have been using Brexit concerns to try to con people into transferring their pension savings to suspicious overseas schemes, and explored what protective action can be taken to stop scammers.
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