The financial regulator has issued a fresh warning to consumers on the dangers of early pension release scams, also known as pension liberation schemes.
An updated section on its website, the watchdog told consumers it is essential to get independent financial advice before proceeding - and to challenge any adviser to who recommends early release.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is working with The Pensions Regulator, Serious Organised Crime Agency and other organisations to combat pension liberation scams.
The FCA said: "You should be especially wary of any scheme offering to help you release cash from your pension before you are 55, as it is almost certainly a scam.
"If you are thinking about entering a scheme to access your pension funds before you are 55, you should first get independent professional advice and consider all other options."
In a Tweet, the FCA said it had seen an example where someone claimed "the entire £150,000 in their pension early to settle debts. After paying fees and tax they ended up with only £52,500".
The FCA said it was unlikely registered financial firms would contact consumers out of the blue to discuss pensions.
The warning added: "We have seen very little to suggest that firms or advisers promoting and arranging early pension release schemes are authorised by us, even when they have said they are.
"If an adviser authorised by us promotes an early pension release scheme ask them to explain the full consequences and risks involved, and your other options."
Pension liberation scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
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