DO NOT REPLY EITHER WAY – THIS IS A SCAM
I received this message today:
Our records indicate your Pension is under performing to see higher growth and upto 25% cash please reply PENSION for a free review. To opt out reply STOP
- +447895123861 / 07895123861
And others have reported similar:
90% of UK pensions are showing negative growth, to celebrate national pension week reply INFO for free review on your old or frozen pension. To opt out STOP
- +447565915540 / 07565915540
This is one of many messages that are circulating as originally highlighted in my article Debt Settlement Order Spam Text Message. If you ever receive anything that remotely fits this template then delete it.
2011 was year of “debt resolution” text scams. Now, in 2012 the criminals behind these schemes are focussing on stripping the vulnerable of their retirement nest egg. This is the cash that senior citizens will depend upon in retirement.
This is morally deplorable and utterly contemptible.
Recently, the government announced a crackdown on such spamming and scamming schemes, so happily, imprisonment is the inevitable consequence for the scum at all ends of this con.
I wrote about a similar message in a post from a couple of months ago, but I think its worth reiterating the message from this.
…it is impossible to unlock your pension before the age of 55. The 25% mentioned in the text message refers to the 25% tax-free cash, that you can opt to take anyway. This is an option presented to you by your pension provider when you cash in, or ‘vest’ your pension anyway.
The companies that offer this service will be intent on taking a sizeable percentage of any ‘unlocked’ money, potentially condemning the victims to hardship in their retirement years. This article at MoneyExtra.com carries more information on the pitfalls of pension unlocking and some possible alternatives.
The above text messages claim to be outperform the stock market by quite staggering percentages. If it were that simple they would not need your pension money. They would happily invest their own cash and you would never hear from them.
What is likely to happen is that you will be charged an annual management charge (AMC) which will result in the value of your pension pot declining even further.
And as for “National Pensions Week” – I have never heard so much garbage in all of my life.
The key message here is this:
Before doing anything with your hard-earned retirement fund SEEK INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE.
At the very least do not engage with these shady characters – the bottom feeders of society.
You may be report these messages to your provider. The following links may help:
Vodafone – How do I report spam text messages? Forward the spam message to VSPAM (87726).
Orange – Stop spam text messages. If you are on Orange and get spam messages, please forward them to 7726 free from your Orange phone. By doing this you are helping Orange to collate information to help reduce spam messages being sent to you and others.
02 also allow you to report on 7726. See: SPAM and unwanted subscription texts
I would also try forwarding the message onto 7726 if you are with T-Mobile or Three.
You can also try NumberCop and DoNotCall.gov
Back in May 2009, the Guardian newspaper wrote an article Spam to go – the new mobile menace. It recommends a number of organisations you can contact.
To complain about an inappropriate text, call the Advertising Standards Authority 020 7492 2222 or go to www.asa.org.uk/asa/contact/
To resolve continual mobile spam despite texting “stop”, contact the ICO on 01625 54 57 45 or go to www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
For help with premium rate text spam, call PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 or log on to www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/Make-a-complaint.aspxDue to a new legislation, those struggling with debt can now apply to have it written off. For more information text the word ‘INFO’ or to opt-out text stop.