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Pension scams and cyber security

Cyber scams in the UK are unfortunately becoming more common, and scammers’ techniques more sophisticated. This is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for individuals’ finances, including pensions. Here are some actions you can take to avoid falling foul of scammers online:

  • Be cautious of cold calls and phishing emails: Unsolicited phone calls, emails, or messages offering pension advice or investment opportunities are often a red flag. UK legislation means that legitimate financial advisers and pension providers are not allowed to cold call you about your pension.
  • Use strong passwords and keep these confidential: Passwords should contain a wide variety of letters, numbers and special characters. Try not to reuse passwords and do not write them down.
  • Do not visit or download suspicious links: You could give access to your device by downloading software or an app from a source you don’t trust. Scammers may be able to take control of your device and access your bank account.
  • Ensure your devices and browsers are kept up to date: As cyber scammers are always changing and developing, you need to ensure you have the latest software to guard against them.
  • Check the FCA register: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) maintains a register of regulated financial services firms and individuals in the UK. Go to https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ before engaging with any financial adviser or investment firm to ensure they are legitimate and authorised to provide financial services.
  • Report suspected scams: If you suspect you've been targeted by a pension scam or have fallen victim to one, report it to Action Fraud. This will help authorities prevent other people from falling victim to the scam and track fraudulent activity. Go to actionfraud.police.uk to find out how to make a report.
  • Seek professional advice: Go to a registered and trusted independent financial advisor before making any decisions associated with your pension.

Cyber scams are a persistent threat, and individuals must remain vigilant to protect their savings. By staying informed about the risks, being cautious with your personal information, and seeking advice from trusted sources, you can reduce your vulnerability and protect your financial future.

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