Those aged between 50 and 59 are most at risk of falling victim to pension scams and many are ashamed to report it, according to The Pensions Regulator executive director for regulatory policy, Andrew Warwick-Thompson.
He echoed earlier findings from the Financial Conduct Authority, which had detected a trend of investment fraud targeting the over-55s.
"We seem to be getting the highest number of reporting of scams from people aged between 50 and 59, which is consistent with the view that freedom and choice may well inadvertently have made them targets for scams," Warwick-Thompson said.
He said men were more likely to be scammed than women, and women were also more likely to tell their partners if they thought they had been involved in a scam.
On average, the loss from a pension scam was £50,000, although Warwick-Thompson had seen cases involving losses of more than £100,000, he said.
He added: "One of the great problems with scams and reporting how many people are involved, how much money is lost, is that the answer to the question is often we're not really sure.
"There are a variety of reasons for that, one is that it takes a long time for people to realise they have been scammed, the other thing that we've come across is that they're ashamed of the fact they've got suckered. So we suspect a lot of scams go unreported."
Fraud prosecution act
In a blog earlier this year, Warwick-Thompson described small self-administered schemes (SSAS) as the "vehicle of choice for scammers", which he reiterated at the Retirement Planner Forum.
He said TPR was considering broadening its prosecution powers by looking into setting up its own fraud prosecution act, although he cautioned it would take a long time to come into force.
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