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Pension scams and
online security

Fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with pension scams costing savers up to £4 billion a year. It's now so common that you're more likely to be a victim of fraud or cyber-crime scams than any other offense, and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) estimates 5 million pensions savers are currently at risk of being scammed.

Scammers are able to commit fraud when they have your personal information, which is why we work continually to keep your online data safe and secure. But it's increasingly important that you protect yourself too.

white exclamation mark on dark blue circle background Alert

We only send important account information and requests to your secure online mailbox. If we need you to contact us, we’ll ask you to call our main helpline or log into your online account. We won't ever call or email out of the blue to ask for your personal details.

Stay safe from phishing scams

Phishing is a tactic many fraudsters use to trick you out of your pension savings. Learn three steps that can protect you from being scammed.

Stay safe from phishing scams

Protect your business from phishing scams 

Phishing scams put your business and your employees' data at risk. See how you can safeguard yourself against the most common risks.

Protect your business from phishing scams

Phishing

You’re tricked into revealing data via a fake email or website that looks like Nest but has a slightly different address. You might be asked to reveal personal information, open attachments, click on a link or call a number that isn’t our main helpline.

Phone scam

A scammer will call or text pretending to be from Nest and will ask you to confirm personal information. If in doubt, hang up and wait five minutes before calling our main helpline, ideally from a different phone. You can also log in and email us from your secure online account.

Alternatively, someone may contact you unexpectedly about high-reward ways to invest your pot or taking your pension money before you're 55, or offering a pension review. Pension cold-calling is banned in the UK, so calls like this are likely to be fraudulent.

Unexpected offers

If you're contacted out of the blue about your pension, chances are it's high risk or a scam.

  • Be wary of free pension reviews and investments that offer high or guaranteed returns.
  • Be especially wary of high pressure tactics or investment opportunities with limited time offers or one-off deals.

Hacking

Hacking is carried out by fraudsters, usually using software that you're tricked into installing onto a phone, computer or any internet-connected device. Software is normally triggered when you click on a link or open a file attachment sent by the fraudster - this is used to steal data.

Data theft 

Information is stolen physically or digitally. Letters and documents could be stolen from your mail or your home, or an organisation that you’re a customer of could suffer a data breach.

Register your Nest account

Register your online Nest account to prevent anyone else from doing so and then keep your details secure. Don’t tell anyone your password – not even us. Log in regularly and keep your personal details up to date, for example if you move house or change your name or contact details.

Choose a strong password

Passwords that are unique and difficult to guess are usually hard to remember. Try making a password out of a series of random words, by combining numbers, letters and special characters or using a password manager.

Be suspicious

Think before you click. Emails from Nest will come from an email address ending in @nestpensions.org.uk or occasionally from @videosmart.com, a trusted partner. Any other address is likely to be fraudulent. Fake emails may use generic greetings like ‘Dear Customer’ or none at all, or may threaten to close your account unless you take action. Don’t open or click on anything you find unusual, just forward these emails to phishing@nestpensions.org.uk and then delete them.

Protect your data

Be careful of who you share your personal details with, whether entering it online, discussing it in person or not being careful with physical documents. Shred important letters before you throw them away and remember to redirect your mail when you move. 

Stay safe online

Make sure your WiFi network is secure and use up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Log off after using your online account. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar on the browser, which shows that you have a secure connection with a verified website.

Check your pension pot

If you're a victim of fraud, the faster you notice the better. We recommend you regularly log into your online account and check your pension pot balance, your contributions over the last 12 months and any withdrawals from your pot. Whether you joined Nest yourself or through your employer, get in touch if you have any questions which need answering.

Use Nest’s bank details

If you're an employer, remember that Nest won't unexpectedly change bank details or ask you to send contributions to a different account. We certainly wouldn't ask you to make payments over the phone or via a link in an email, and will always direct you to log into your online account.

Fraudsters persuade people to transfer or cash in their pension pots and put the money into schemes offering upfront cash or guaranteed high returns. They make attractive-sounding promises they have no intention of keeping, and may offer unusual, high-risk investments like overseas property and hotels, renewable energy bonds, forestry, parking or storage units. 

Be wary of outside organisations that claim to grow your money with one-off deals or offer ways to access your money before you turn 55, unless you have grounds to do so from ill health. Pension scams are designed to be appealing, but it's likely that your money will be stolen outright once you've signed it over. You could also face a large tax charge.

Choosing what to do with your pension savings is a significant financial decision that affects your future wellbeing. Don't let yourself be rushed into a decision about your pot, or sign anything under pressure. We strongly recommend you get independent financial advice on any offers to transfer your pension. The Money Advice Service offers free, impartial help, including a list of regulated advisers.

The following links offer more information around how to protect against scams:
www.pensionwise.gov.uk/scams 
www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams 
www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams

Think you’ve been a victim? If your Nest account has been subject to fraud or you’ve accidentally given away your details, tell us straightaway and then report it to Action Fraud

If you receive suspicious emails, please forward them to phishing@nestpensions.org.uk and then delete them. If you’ve clicked on any links or opened attachments, run your anti-virus software.

More information around how to protect yourself online, and on data privacy can be found here: 
www.ncsc.gov.uk  
www.ico.org.uk