10th February 2015
Almost one in 10 pensioners have been targeted by financial fraudsters during their retirement, new research shows.
The nationwide study of retirees by MetLife found that 9% say they have been victims of financial scams or targeted by financial scammers since they stopped work. That rises to 14% among retired people in the South West.
Recent reported frauds affecting retired people included criminals attempting to gain access to bank or savings accounts through so-called vishing scams, where victims are tricked into handing over bank details and cards. Other retirees were targeted by con artists trying to selling bogus investment and pension schemes.
MetLife believes the risk of fraud underlines the real need for independent financial advice for people retiring this year as the UK launches pension flexibility enabling all defined contribution pension savers aged 55 and over to take their funds as cash subject only to tax rules.
The Association of British Insurers in conjunction with The Pensions Advisory Service has launched a campaign to help people avoid pension scams including the warning signs and how fraudsters operate.
Dominic Grinstead, managing director of MetLife UK, said: “Pension flexibility offers the UK the chance to create a world-leading retirement saving system and to ensure that people have more comfortable retirements.
“Unfortunately it is also providing opportunities for fraudsters who already see retired people as potential targets as shown by the fact that so many have been subjected to scams.
“Independent advice on retirement options can help people become better informed and more able to see through fraudsters.”