The number of Covid-19 scams is rising, with losses arising from these frauds now topping £5m.
The latest figures from Action Fraud show that there have been over 2,000 cases reported since February, with losses from these coronavirus-related scams amounting to £5,142,265.
One of the most common type of frauds are pension scams, according to TSB and fraud prevention body Cifas. Here investors are persuaded to transfer funds into unregulated schemes. In many cases these funds can be lost completely.
The Pensions Regulator chief executive Charles Counsell says: “These figures once again show the true devastation of scams. We know, on average, victims of pension scams lose £82,000.
“Anyone can be a victim and Covid-19 has created the sort of environment fraudsters thrive in. That’s why it’s vital savers don’t rush decisions about their retirement funds.
“To avoid making a decision they may regret, savers can access free and impartial advice about their finances from The Money and Pensions Service. They should also visit the ScamSmart website to learn how to protect themselves from pensions scams.”
The People’s Pension director of policy Gregg McClymont adds: “Pensions fraud takes many forms so it’s important that the public is alive to the very real risk that ruthless criminals will try anything to get their hands on their retirement pots.
“Savers should decline any unsolicited approach to access their pension pots early and should always seek professional advice before making any decisions about their pension savings.”