Earlier this week seven people have been arrested on suspicion of being part of an organised crime gang behind a pension investment scam – the new boiler-room fraud.
Detectives entered a City of London office that was being used as a call centre with about 40 staff, seizing several computers and documents. After the search, police arrested three men, followed by further arrests in Ayr, Glasgow and Cheshire on suspicion of organising a pension scam.
In total, seven men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The arrests form part of a multi-agency clampdown on the pension liberation scams which promise people early access to pension funds in return for up to half the money.
The suspected scam gang dismantled by the police has been cold-calling and text messaging people across the UK with fraudulent offers.
Thousands of people, often desperate for cash through redundancy or escalating debts, are being caught in these scams.
The City of London police said that up to £400 million has been moved into high-risk and non-existent investments, with many being based overseas – some of which money has been totally lost to scammers, or subject to significant tax and admin fees.
“A collective desire to find a higher return on savings is at the heart of the problem, with the promise of pension loans or cash lump sums acting as an added incentive for people to raid pension pots”.