More than £30m has been reportedly lost to pension scammers since 2017, according to complaints filed with Action Fraud.
The Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator have revealed victims suffered losses ranging from under £1,000 to as much as £500,000, but the total lost because of pension scams could be significantly higher than the £30m figure as many savers do not know how much is in their pots.
Many also fail to spot the signs of a scam, the regulators say.
As part of the ScamSmart campaign, the FCA and TPR are encouraging football fans to show pension scammers the red card.
It comes on the back of research which revealed that less than half (43 per cent) of football fans approaching retirement know how much is in their pension pots, while only 45 per cent know how to check if an approach about their pension is legitimate.
Many football fans know more about football finances than their own lifetime savings, the study found. This has prompted the regulators to team up with football commentator Clive Tyldesley to remind fans that there is no transfer deadline for their pensions.
Scammers often present seemingly attractive “time-limited offers” to persuade savers to release their money.
Responding to the latest figures, AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “With the UK set to enter recession and millions facing unemployment as the government’s furlough scheme is pulled back, fraudsters will inevitably redouble efforts to part savers from their hard-earned pensions.
“Although around £30m worth of pension scams might have been reported to Action Fraud since 2017, in reality this will represent just the tip of the iceberg.
“Scams in general tend to be underreported for a variety of reasons – including in some cases embarrassment on the victims’ part – while in recent years the target for scammers’ activity has increasingly focused.”