For the first time ever, the High Court has ordered the perpetrators of pension scams to repay the money they took from their victims. Four individuals, who between them ran 11 separate pension scams, must now pay back the £13.7 million they took from pensioners by dishonest means.
According to the BBC, as many as 245 members of the British public have been affected by these 11 scams, with each victim losing an average of £55,000 to schemes they thought were legitimate.
One couple were told to put their £78,000 into what they were assured was a ‘low-risk investment’ with a firm producing truffle trees in the West Country, while another man was approached via text message to invest £50,000 in the construction of a time-share development in St Lucia. The ruling is good news for anyone with a pension pot, as these sorts of scams are happening more and more in the wake of pension freedom, and may take a variety of different forms so as to be harder to spot.
To help avoid falling victim to pension fraud, read the Money Advice Service’s “How to spot a pension scam” guide. Your best defence against pension fraud though is using a regulated independent financial adviser who will look after your best interests.
A version of this article was first published by unbiased on the 25th January 2018.