Canada Life welcomes Select Committee action on pension fraud

The Work and Pensions Select Committee’s industry cooperation to tackle pension fraud has been welcomed by Canada Life.

COVID-19 has presented a “clear opportunity” for fraudsters to prey on the growing financial fears of their victims, according to the financial solutions provider.

Findings from a Canada Life survey last September suggested that 5.2 million UK adults (11%) had either fallen victim or knew someone who had fallen for a scam since March, with one in four of these (28%) relating specifically to pension fraud.

“Pension fraud is an urgent and potentially devastating crime for its victims and the problem is not going to go away on its own, so I welcome the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s continued interest to co-operate with the industry and tackle the problem,” said Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully.

During the Committee’s last session, The Pensions Regulator also revealed that at least £54m of lost pension savings were under investigation, involving more than 18,000 savers.

However, Tully warned this figure was likely to only be a “fraction of the scale of the problem” as many cases can be undetected for years, or because victims may feel shame or embarrassment in coming forward.

Tully added: “While falling prey to scams hits victims financially, there are also quite severe hidden costs to mental health as people’s ability to trust is shattered overnight. Despite the public message campaigns and the ban on cold-calling, the scammers are either simply ignoring the law or looking to sophisticated campaigns over social media in order to con people out of their savings.

“The rapid rise of romance scams and using the Track and Trace service only serves to show we all need to be vigilant, scam aware and follow the simple rule of thumb – if it appears too good to be true, it inevitably is. Simply walk away, hang up, or delete the email or text.”

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