The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has carried out searches in a joint operation with the police as part of an investigation into pension schemes it suspects are linked to cold-calling firms.
In a press statement TPR said it is worried members have been cold-called in a bid to ‘transfer their funds into poorly-run schemes with the promise of higher returns and cash incentives upfront’.
Along with the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU), TPR searched four businesses and homes in Newcastle, Sunderland and West Bridgford in January.
‘Payments are suspected to have been made to introducers – some of whom TPR believes had used cold-calling to target pension holders,’ TPR said.
Mike Birch, TPR’s director of case management, said: ‘Cold-calling pension holders isn’t illegal yet, but no reputable business does it. We would urge anyone to contact Action Fraud if they are phoned and offered the chance to transfer their pension.
‘Our message is simple – a cold-call about your pension is an attempt to steal your savings.’
TPR added one man and one woman have been interviewed by police under caution. Another man has been arrested and questioned by police on suspicion of fraud.