The financial watchdog has unveiled its plans to tackle new scams that have mushroomed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Raw Deal revealed last week that such frauds had risen by more than 400% in the past two months.
The Financial Conduct Authority’s priorities include helping the most vulnerable by making sure finance firms give “strong and clear support” to customers.
The FCA said: “We want consumers to have access to high-quality advice and support, and be aware of how to protect themselves from scams and fraud.”
The regulator is proposing a campaign to help consumers make better-informed investment decisions.
This will build on its existing ScamSmart campaign, which highlights common tactics used by fraudsters.
During the current health crisis, over-55s who have already drawn down from their pensions have emerged as prime targets for scammers.
Criminals will often make too-good-to-be-true proposals, offering high returns on pension savings. Common types of these scams include overseas property developments, renewable energy bonds, storage units and biofuels.
How to protect yourself:
- Avoid engaging in conversation with cold-callers. Always be wary of unexpected calls, emails and text messages as they could be from scammers. Even if a person has information about you, do not immediately treat them as being genuine.
- Never give out personal information, including your bank details. Think about installing call-blocker technology on your phone.
- Check the FCA Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.