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Pensions: Fraud

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 95095, tabled on 24 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions her Department has had with (a) regulators, (b) pension providers and (c) HMRC on taking steps to encourage pension scam victims to report those scams.

Answered on

2 October 2020

DWP works with other government departments, regulators, police, enforcement agencies and the pensions industry to raise public awareness of pension scams and encourage the reporting of scams by victims. The Government established Project Bloom, a cross-government taskforce that brings together law enforcement, government and industry to share intelligence, raise awareness of and the reporting of scams through public communication campaigns, and take enforcement action where appropriate.

Project Bloom monitors the evolution of scam typology and the measures that all agencies including providers and financial professionals can take to help prevent scams.

The Government continues to drive forward and endorse better messaging from both TPR and FCA to the public and industry on how to identify a scam. Government helped facilitate and supported the joint statement by regulators at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, urging individuals not to make hasty pension decisions.

https://www.ppf.co.uk/sites/default/files/2020-05/COVID-19-and-your-pension.pdf.

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/media-hub/press-releases/2020-press-releases/covid-19-savers-stay-calm-and-dont-rush-financial-decisions.

The Government is also using social media to further endorse the messaging from the regulators, with posts referencing Pension Scams and #ScamSmart in total across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in the period March to September 2020.

The ScamSmart campaign and website have been live since 2014. It started by focusing on just Investment Scams and has grown to incorporate Pension Scams. The aim of all the activity under the ScamSmart brand is to alert consumers to the warning signs that indicate a possible scam is taking place and to drive action, getting consumers to use the FCA Warning List tool and the Register. The national media campaign which ran from July to November 2019 resulted in excess of 220,000 people visiting the website.