Keeping your money safe
AJ Bell Investcentre is part of AJ Bell – a public limited company, listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. We are a financially robust business, with 491,000 customers who currently trust us to look after assets under administration totalling £76.1 billion.FIND OUT MORE
- Pension fraud
Your pension and investments are likely to be worth a considerable amount of money – which is why so many fraudsters and con artists would like to get their hands on them. They may try to do this by luring you with the promise of high returns on investments which, in reality, either simply don’t exist, or are extremely high risk with low returns. Here are some tips to help you spot and avoid possible scams.
- Suspicious calls
Be suspicious of people who call you out of the blue
It is very unlikely a reputable company would make unsolicited phone calls. You should also beware of people who contact you by phone or text offering to undertake a pension review for you on behalf of a Government-backed body such as Pension Wise.
- Overseas ‘deals’
Steer clear of overseas investment deals
Common scam types involve unregulated investments in things like hotels and vineyards or other opportunities in overseas locations where you have no consumer protection. They also usually involve putting all your money in just one investment, which puts it at greater risk.
- Register check
Check everything carefully
Never just rely on the recommendation of a friend. Always check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to make sure an adviser or company you are considering working with is registered. And be sure to read any paperwork carefully before signing. If there is anything you don’t fully understand, don’t proceed.
- Provider check
Get your current scheme to check the new one
If you are considering transferring your pension, get your current provider to check the new scheme's HMRC registration.
- ‘Guaranteed returns’
Be extremely wary of a ‘guaranteed return’
If a company offers you guaranteed returns on your investment, be extremely wary. Cross-check any suggested guaranteed investments on the FCA register.
- Glossy marketing
Don’t be fooled by a smart website and literature
It is very easy to build a professional-looking website and to print some glossy literature. These things are not proof that an organisation is legitimate. The advice is: never judge a book by its cover.
- Act quickly
If you suspect foul play, act quickly
If you think you may have been tricked into transferring your pension to a scammer, make sure you contact your pension provider straight away, as they may be able to stop the transfer going through. You should also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
- Be ‘ScamSmart’
Look out for known scams
If you have been approached with an investment opportunity, check it against the FCA’s Warning List of known scams. You will find the list on the FCA’s ScamSmart page, which also features various other tips to help you spot and avoid scams.
Compensation arrangements covering your money
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has been set up to deal with compensation if firms are unable to meet claims made against them.
- The FSCS operates separate sub-schemes, including ones for deposits and investment business.
- For more information, please read our ‘Compensation and the FSCS Q&As’.