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City of London Police makes pension liberation arrests

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City of London Police says it has dismantled a suspected organised crime gang believed to be cold-calling and text messaging people across the UK with fraudulent pension liberation offers.

On Wednesday morning detectives from the National Lead Force for fraud entered a City of London based office housing up to 40 call-operatives, arresting three men and seizing computers and documents. 

At the same time the investigation team, supported by Police Scotland and the Serious Organised Crimes Agency, were arresting two men in Ayr and in Glasgow. Further arrests were made in Cheshire.

It is the first time the police has launched a major investigation into pension liberation fraud.

City of London Police commander Steve Head says: “Pension liberation fraud is the new boiler room fraud phenomenon as fraudsters seek to exploit new opportunities thrown up by the changing economic climate. 

“The promise of maximising returns on your pension savings may seem to make good financial sense but the reality is you could be falling into a terrible trap which has the potential to destroy your retirement.

Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “Pension liberation fraud is a crime and we along with the police and others across Government are cracking down on these schemes.”

The arrests follow a crackdown on pension liberation involving a coalition of regulators and the Government earlier this year.

The Pensions Regulator has worked with the FSA, HMRC, the Serious Fraud Office, The Pension Advisory Service and ‘Action Fraud’ to develop a series of new documents designed to warn people of the dangers of attempting to access their pension early.

Providers have also attempted to tackle the problem by delaying or blocking transfers to schemes they suspect are being used for pension liberation.

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Comments

There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Dominic Thomas 9th May 2013 at 4:02 pm

    About time!

  2. I received a text this morning about this. Delighted to see this action being taken, very well done.

  3. I heard that there is one of these in Manchester – better tip off the Manchester Met.

    I believe they operate out of Fourways House in Hilton Street.

    Now I wonder how long it will take for any action – by the time they get going the birds will probably have flown to another address.

  4. I was looking at a job site yesterday and there was an advert for tele sales staff to sell unapproved schemes which allowed early access to pensions. They said it wasn’t pensions liberation and they didn’t need FCA authorisation as the scheme was set up under occupational rules! The sales people had to get their own leads or pay for every 100 provided to them. It looked very suspect to me.

  5. Hywel Ap Buckler 9th May 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Fraudster is another list created for those who don’t follow the regimes dictatorships. The only harm or loss that has been committed here is against the business owners. I hope they sue for damages after their inherent right to commerce was trampled on.

  6. And IFA’s are always happy to pay the “misselling” FSCS scheme costs

  7. @ Harry Katz… well done… whistle blowing and tipping off in the same breath!

  8. have a look at some of the websites involved in my blog http://joneshill.co.uk/blog/

  9. Is this just going to be a UK operation, or are they going to go after the offshore operators that allow access to cash via QROPS?

    The English speaking Spanish newspapers would be a good place to start.

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