Government extends pension cold-calling ban
21 August 2017
The government confirmed yesterday (20 August 2017) new measures to protect private pension savers from the threat of unscrupulous pension scammers.
Cifas Chief Executive Simon Dukes has issued the following comment in support:
“Encouragingly the adoption of technology by older age groups is steadily increasing so I welcome Government plans to include emails and text messages as part of its ban on pension cold callers.
“We know that fraudsters have taken advantage of the pension freedoms introduced in April 2015. Fraudsters will always follow the money and they are adept at finding opportunities and loopholes through either legislation or systems.
“Extending the cold calling ban provides much clearer guidance to savers so that they know if anyone contacts them about their pension savings unexpectedly or without prior permission they should hang up, delete or not reply.
“Fraudsters play on our lack of awareness and trust, so Government and industry must do more to make sure consumers know how to protect themselves. Because we know as one loophole closes fraudsters will look to exploit others.”
For advice on how to protect yourself from fraud visit Take Five to Stop Fraud.
Notes to Editors
Read our annual publication Fraudscape for detailed analysis of data from 387 organisations, including many major UK brands. It is one of the most comprehensive pictures of fraud and fraudulent attempts made in the UK.
Our asks of the Government
1. Fraud education should be in the national curriculum. Cifas wants to see every child from Key Stage 3 onwards receive consistent education on how to protect their identities online and protect themselves from fraud. Our data shows that young people are increasingly at risk from identity fraud.
2. Tackling fraud should be a strategic priority for UK policing. The latest Office of National Statistics crime figures showed that almost half of all crime is fraud, and Cifas figures show that 66% of frauds recorded by our members is cyber enabled. We want to see the Government earmark funding and give a clear policy steer to law enforcement that tackling this high volume crime needs to be a priority.
3. Conduct a comprehensive review of the sentencing guidelines for fraud. Currently the maximum sentence for fraud is seven years. Compared to other offences where theft of money takes place, fraud has much lower sentences. Fraud can cause terrible detriment to victims: Trading Standards figures show that older people defrauded in their own homes are 2.5 times more likely to either die or go into residential care within a year. Cifas would like to see fraud offences attract a stronger sentence to reflect this and to act as a deterrent to those committing these crimes.
Cifas exists to prevent fraud and financial crime. We are an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2016, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1 billion of fraud losses. Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime. Every day, we send approximately 800 fraud cases to the City of London Police for potential investigation. Cifas also offers Protective Registration for individuals whose identities are at risk of being used fraudulently, for instance after a burglary. We also run a scheme called Protecting the Vulnerable, offered free of charge to local authorities to protect those under the care of Court Deputies who are unable to access financial products and whose identities may be at risk.
For more information, please contact:
+44 (0)20 3004 3609
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