Action Fraud receives 166 pension scam reports since beginning of lockdown

Action Fraud received 166 reports of pension scams between 24 March 2020 and 25 September 2020, the government has revealed.

In answer to a parliamentary written question, Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, James Brokenshire, revealed the number of reports since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and said that the government was “committed to protecting people from pension scams and pursuing those who perpetrate these scams”.

Although there were concerns that financial insecurity resulting from the pandemic would cause an increase in the number of pension scams, the number of reports in H1 2020/21 does not appear to indicate an increase on the previous year.

According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, Action Fraud received a total of 662 reports of pension fraud in 2019/20.

The number of reports in the first half of 2020/21 appeared to be closer to the number seen in 2018/19, when there were 321 reports of pension scams to Action Fraud over the full year.

A recent freedom of information request by Quilter revealed that just 6.6 per cent of the 394 pension scam reports to Action Fraud in 2019 were passed to the police for investigation.

The Transparency Task Force published an open letter to Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, in late September 2020, calling for greater leadership from the government on tackling pension scams.

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