We’ve compiled this handy guide with hints and tips on how to protect your money, stay safe and ensure that you don’t get scammed.
We’ve all heard the phrase if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so we’ve compiled this handy guide with hints and tips on how to protect your money, stay safe and ensure that you don’t get scammed.
Image is everything or is it?
Many scam firms present a very professional image and look and act the part however, proper financial advice is rarely offered for free. We advise that if you ever receive unsolicited offers out of the blue, for example offering very high returns on an investment, the best thing to do is too ignore the email, letter or phone call, as the chances are that they are from a scammer who is seeking to relieve you of the life-savings or a pension you’ve worked so hard to build up.
Check for Authorisation
Check whether the firm that has contacted you is FCA authorised. Many will claim that they are authorised but we suggest that you check the FCA register to ensure that you are dealing with a bona fide firm that is authorised to give financial advice. Another benefit of using an FCA approved company is that if things go wrong, you may be able to get your money back through FOS or the FSCS.
Alarm bells ringing
If any of the following things happen, this should immediately raise alarm bells with you.
- You were offered a free pension review?
- Does the investment seem unusual – i.e. forestry/ storage?
- Are the returns offered ridiculously high?
We’re currently helping thousands of clients to recover the money they have invested in such schemes, only to find out years later that the scheme that looked so attractive at the time was a sham or has now fallen into administration.
Attractive Offers and Opportunities
Often many scams will seem very attractive- offering you the opportunity to get access to your pension earlier focusing on the fact that you could access some of your pension before you are 55. Often the information given is misleading and could leave you with a very hefty tax bill as there are only limited circumstances( for example terminal illness) in which you can take money from your pension before you are 55.
Get Online Advice
With the internet nowadays you can access a wealth of free, professional, impartial advice from various reputable government-backed agencies like Pension Wise, The Money Advice Service, and the Pension’s Advisory Service. Such websites are often a good starting point especially if you have concerns about an investment you have made or are thinking about making. However, we would strongly recommend that you take professional advice from an independent financial advisor before taking out any form of investment.
Always Report a Scam
The government has recently announced a ban on pension cold-calls, however, scammers are unlikely to be deterred from doing what they do and it is likely that they will continue to seek out unwary investors. If you have been contacted by a firm which appears dubious you should always report this to the FCA without delay by contacting their consumer helpline.
Stay tuned for further hints and tips on protecting your investments by logging online for further updates over coming months.
Do you think you have been scammed? Get in touch with our team to discuss financial mis-selling.