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Pension scams

What's a pension scam?

Pension scammers target savers of all ages in many different ways and their methods are always changing. It’s important you know the warning signs of a scam to help make sure you don’t become a victim.

Scammers usually offer:

  • upfront cash or guaranteed returns if you transfer or cash-in your pension pot and move your money to another scheme
  • early access to your pension pot if you’re under 55
  • high-risk investment opportunities such as overseas property and hotels, renewable energy bonds, forestry, parking or storage units

Scammers might use phrases like:

  • free pension review
  • one-off investment
  • pension liberation 
  • loophole
  • loan or savings advance

Pension scams are designed to be appealing but if you get taken in it’s likely your money will be stolen. You could also face a large tax bill for taking an unauthorised payment from your pension pot.

How do I report fraud?

Think you’ve been a victim? If your Nest account has been subject to fraud or you’ve accidentally given away your details, tell us straight away and then report it to Action Fraud.

If you receive suspicious emails, please forward them to and then delete them. Run your anti-virus software if you’ve clicked on any links or opened attachments.

Five ways to protect yourself from pension scammers

  1. Reject an unexpected pension offer, whether it’s made to you online, in person or over the phone. Find out more about how scammers may target you in the next section. 
  2. Always check who you’re dealing with. Make sure that anyone offering you pensions advice or services is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can do this by using the FCA’s register or calling its helpline on 0800 111 6768.
  3. Don’t be rushed into making a decision about your pension or sign anything under pressure. It’s your money and losing it will affect your financial future.
  4. Think about getting independent guidance and advice about any offer to transfer your pension. MoneyHelper offer free impartial guidance and can help you find an authorised financial adviser.
  5. Know where to go to get more information about spotting a scam. The FCA, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and MoneyHelper all have dedicated webpages to help you protect yourself.

How will scammers target me?

Phone scams

A scammer will call or text pretending to be from Nest and will ask you to confirm personal information. If in doubt, hang up and wait five minutes before calling our main helpline, ideally from a different phone. You can also log in and email us from your secure online account.

Alternatively, a scammer will call you unexpectedly and pressurise you to accept an attractive pension offer. This can include high or guaranteed returns if you transfer your pot to their scheme, access to your pot before you’re 55 or a free pension review.

Pension cold-calling is banned in the UK, so calls like this are likely to be fraudulent.

Unexpected offers

You can also be contacted out of the blue about your pension at your door or online, including through social media. The chances are it's a high risk offer that would invest your money in unstable and unprotected investments, or it's a scam that will simply steals your savings.

However you’re approached, you should be especially suspicious of high-pressure tactics or investment opportunities with limited time offers or one-off deals.

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Online security

Discover some simple things you can do to stay safe online.

Keeping safe online

Log in and keep safe

Logging in to your Nest account for the first time helps stop scammers from getting access to it. Already done that? Then log in regularly and check your personal details are up to date.