What does it look like?

We've written this story to show you how scammers trick people. It describes common tactics we know scammers use, based on insights from our fraud and scams team.

The pension review scam

Tony had been thinking about retiring within the next few years, but wasn’t sure if he could afford it. One day he received a call from an investment company. The caller introduced himself as an investment specialist, and offered to review Tony's pension arrangements. Tony wasn't sure of his pension options, and he'd heard of the company before, so he agreed to the review.

The investment specialist explained that Tony could make his money go a lot further by investing. He said he knew of a very secure, high-return investment, and if Tony withdrew money from his pension and let him invest it, he'd make a lot of money very quickly.

The specialist helped Tony move money from his pension to a holding account with the investment company. He assured Tony he would see returns very quickly.

Once Tony had transferred the money, he never heard from the specialist or the company again.

What's the scam?

The caller wasn't a genuine investment specialist – they were a scammer.

They lied to Tony and persuaded him to withdraw money from his pension for an investment that didn't exist. The account that Tony sent the money to was a fake account and the scammer disappeared with his money.