Altmann: Cold-call ban would not stop scams

Ros Altmann

Pensions minister Ros Altmann says banning cold calling would not stop pension scams.

In a wide ranging debate with journalists at a Headlinemoney event in London last week, Altmann said the issue was the volume of calls coming from abroad.

Scams involving pensions have been in the spotlight after the pension freedoms gave crooks a new inroad to potential victims.

But the pensions minister said simply banning cold calling would not solve the problem.

She said: “With these kinds of cold calls it’s very difficult for the Government to do anything. We are trying out best and catching lots of them. We have a whole team of people and all sorts of organisations are coming together but a lot of these are coming from abroad.

“We’re now putting in place a system where the number comes up when you get a call for any company that is registered over here. But many of these are coming from abroad and they are determined to scam you out of their money. It’s a question of making the public have the understanding that this isn’t normal.

“I’ve looked at making cold calls illegal but if they come from abroad there’s nothing we can do. We could put in the legislation, it would take legislative time away from other things, but actually it probably wouldn’t solve the problem. You can tell people it’s illegal but they will still take the phone call.”