Concerns have been raised over the amount of cold calls that are currently being received across the UK, regarding pensions.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has reported 1,000 complaints from people receiving calls and texts this year.
Their claims are also supported by Which? who have noticed a rise in unapproved calls in recent times.
People who are of the age at which they could start to receive pensions are being warned to watch out for fraudulent calls that could trick them out of their money.
Previously anybody attempting to commit this type of fraud needed to set a fake pension plan before unsuspecting victims could move their money into it. But since the law has changed, allowing people more freedom to move their pensions, it has become significantly easier for fraudsters to successfully con consumers.
The head of enforcement at the ICO, Steve Eckersley, has stated that these con-artists are always on the lookout for more ways to exploit the system.
“We always thought it could lead to an increase in the number of unlawful calls which are made. We’re hoping it won’t match the scale of the calls made in relation to PPI.”
One of the reasons for this increase is believed to be the fact that people are giving companies permission to contact them, even though the company has no clear link to the financial industry.
These companies can then sell this information to other organisations that will contact you offering help with your pension.
“They’re saying they’ll share information with affiliated members or third parties. We say they should be clear about which organisations they share their information with.”
It is estimated that a third of people over the age of 55 have been contacted in the last two years, without giving their permission.
The editor of Which? Money, Gareth Shaw, claims that this problem has worsened considerably over the past year.
“Things like investment opportunities, free pension reviews, legal loopholes and early access to their pension cash. All the well-worn phrases and the warning signs that many of the industry bodies have said that people need to look out for.”
“If you get a call about transferring a pension or an investment opportunity, it’s not going to be from a genuine company.”
Eckersley has stated that the ICOs powers have been considerably increased, in order to fight these fraudsters.
“Prior to April 6, we had to show that consumers had suffered substantial damage or distress.”
“But since the change in the law, all we have to show is there has been a serious contravention . We can issue fines up to £500,000.”