Several UK bodies, including the Bank of England, National Crime Agency and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), have warned people to be particularly vigilant about scams, many of which are targeting vulnerable people, such as those who have lost their jobs or are under greater financial pressure in the current climate.
MILLIONS OF VICTIMS
Recent figures1 show that over five million people in the UK had fallen victim to, or knew someone who had been duped by, a financial scam since the beginning of the virus outbreak. The most common financial scams relate to banking, accounting for 60% of victims. A further 35% had been targeted by an insurance scam. Fraudsters have also been offering free pension reviews and one in five consumers reported having been targeted by a pension scam.
To check whether an investment or pension opportunity is legitimate, you can use the FCA online scam checker, which can be found here: www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
ADVICE FROM THE GOVERNMENT
Government advice for consumers to protect themselves from fraud includes checking the company’s credentials via a reliable source such as the FCA’s Financial Services Register, being wary of deals that sound too good to be true, not giving out personal details, not clicking on links from unknown senders and seeking professional financial advice before making any decisions. The official advice can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/be-vigilantagainst-coronavirus-scams
GUIDANCE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
We are more vulnerable and likely to fall victim to scams when anxious, stressed or suffering financial pressures, so if you are unsure about any financial opportunities that come your way, please contact us. Rest assured, we’re here to keep you and your finances safe during this period of uncertainty.
1Canada Life, 2020
A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation. The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested.