In the three months up to July 2017, over 1.8 million people have been targeted by phone, text or email according to a report from Retirement Advantage. Their research found that 17% of people aged over 50 have been offered unsolicited free pensions advice or inducements to hold certain investments. New figures show people have been conned out of £43 million by pension scammers in the last three years, with the average victim losing £15,000.

It is not possible to take pension benefits before age 55, unless there are exceptional circumstances, therefore inducements to take funds early, or to transfer funds to a specific bank account, and pressurised sales to take advantage of ‘too good to be true’ investment opportunities are usually scams.

The industry is currently consulting on an official ban to end cold calling which targets pensions, including text messages and emails. Businesses will then only be exempt if the individual concerned has expressly requested information or has an existing relationship with the company. As ever, you need to be more observant and increasingly aware today of the potential of scammers wanting to get hold of your pension funds.