Moves to ban cold-calling have been well-intentioned but further educating consumers on how to spot fraudulent activity is a better form of defence, according to Adrian Boulding.
While the Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) strategy director said he is a supporter of the government's proposed cold calling ban, he argued the measure does not have a broad enough scope to eliminate the practice entirely.
"A lot of the cold calls come from outside of the UK," he explained. "If they [scammers] are sat in a foreign office outside the UK, then there's nothing the government can do to stop them making cold calls.
"We must work with the government to build increased public awareness to help people understand how to spot scams. We know sustained government campaigns can work - automatic enrolment is a good example of that."
TISA pointed to a recent Citizens Advice Bureau survey that showed while three-quarters (75%) of people felt confident they could spot a scam, when presented with three options, only 12% selected the legitimate pension help on offer. And, while there is clearly a need for increased public awareness, the trade body added, there must also be consideration for those who are aware of the dangers but do not know they are being targeted.
Boulding (pictured) continued: "We welcome the proposed measures - however we also acknowledge this is not a silver bullet and, as the industry's anti-fraud measures evolve, new scams will also evolve. We need monitoring and education to be an ongoing exercise to ensure consumers are not left behind when new scamming approaches are introduced."
In its own response to the government's consultation on scams, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has set out proposals for an authorisation regime for pension schemes.
PLSA director of external affairs Graham Vidler said: "Currently, the regulation for setting up smaller pension schemes is not fully effective in preventing pension schemes being used as vehicles for scams.
"The PLSA proposes a new authorisation regime that focuses initially on all new schemes with fewer than 100 members, and existing schemes with fewer than 100 members that wish to receive pension transfers. This would cover small self-administered schemes, which, together with overseas schemes, present the greatest risk of being used as vehicles for scams."
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