According to The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), claim management companies are selling data to pension scammers.
The chief executive of TPAS, Michelle Cracknell, says that it has received various calls from people who have been in contact with businesses that offer to claim a compensation from the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and then have been cold called by pension scammers.
“We have a number of those examples where this cross-selling situation is happening,” said Cracknell in a speech last week.
How is this happening?
By selling data to other firms, companies often make money.
When you are accomplishing forms if you do not check or uncheck the box, to say that you do not want your details to be shared with third parties, then firms are allowed to sell your information on. Other businesses use that data to try and sell you their products.
However, news that legitimate firms are selling that data to scammers adds fuel to the discussion that customers need to be better informed regarding how their information will be used and stronger legislation are required to be put in place to safeguard people’s data.
Cold call ban won’t help
The news arrises as many pension experts warn that the plan of the Government to ban cold calling will not sufficient to stop scammers.
Back in August, the Government announced a proposal for a ban on cold calls, texts and emails that are intended to scam people out of their pensions. However, a date for the introduction is yet to be revealed.
“I totally support the ban on cold calling, but what is most important is to build it with a very big awareness campaign,” Cracknell says.
“Because the pickings are far too rich for these scammers to stop. People will not be safe with just the cold calling ban.”
According to Government figures, it is calculated that eight people are cold called every second in the United Kingdom – that is 250 million calls per year. Given that your pension is presumably the biggest pot of cash that you have, scammers are frequently targeting them with an estimated £43 million taken in pension scams since April 2014.
In just the first five months of 2017, scammers were able to grab £5 million from people’s pension pots.
Pension scams victims lose an average of around £15,000.
How to keep safe
Once you receive a cold call that is promising to help you access your pension early, or transfer it into a more profitable investment, hang up.
In fact, to be safe, you should hang up on anyone who calls you out of the blue to talk about your pension.
If they say that they are from your pension provider, then hang up, find your paperwork and call the number on there to verify if it was a genuine call.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam call Action Fraud, you may contact 0300 123 2040.