Agencies up scams fight as over-55s targeted

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Regulators, charities and crime agencies are taking part in Scams Awareness Month in a bid to tackle “shapeshifting” fraudsters as new research reveals the scale of the problem.

Citizens Advice and Trading Standards Services are leading an awareness campaign over July under the slogan ‘Don’t be rushed. Don’t be hushed’.

The move comes as a YouGov survey, commissioned by Retirement Advantage, shows one in five (20 per cent) of over-55s have been approached by firms offering to help access their pension early.

Men are more likely to be contacted than women with telephone (50 per cent) the most popular method of communication.

The Pensions Regulator executive director Andrew Warwick-Thompson says: “Scammers are sophisticated and well organised shapeshifters, so we have to be resourceful and tenacious, and work collaboratively with government, law enforcement and other agencies to educate the public, disrupt the activities of scammers and take legal action where necessary.

“There is no single organisation or agency which can tackle scams alone.”

Retirement Advantage pensions technical director Andrew Tully says: “Hopefully Pension Wise will help educate people around the risks, but professional financial advice will be crucial to ensure people understand the options available to them and make the right decision for their personal circumstances.

“The Government also needs to make life difficult for the scammers, and punish those found guilty of preying on innocent victims.’