Tyldesley encourages pension savers to kick back against fraud in new campaign

Charlie Spargo's picture

Long-serving football commentator Clive Tyldesley is fronting a new campaign from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR), which is aimed at tackling pension fraud.

The 65-year-old, who was born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, is using football analogies to make sure that those approaching retirement don't get stung by scammers. It comes after revelations that losses of nearly £31 million were reported to Action Fraud since spring 2017.

The average victims of these scammers - who often use pressure around a 'deadline' to transfer your pension - are men in their 50s, according to the FCA and TPR.

Tyldesley was the voice of ITV football until being replaced as lead commentator earlier this year. Early in his career, he worked for Radio City in Liverpool, before joining the BBC in 1992 then moving to ITV in 1996.

Tyldesley says: "Scammers are very good at breaking down your defences and putting you under pressure with various deadlines. But your pension isn't a football transfer - there are no deadlines. Your favourite team wouldn't buy a new striker just because his agent says he's good.

'They'd ask around, check out his stats, do some research - just like you should when handling your pension plans. Before you fall foul to savvy scammers, remember to take your time, seek advice, and speak to an FCA authorised adviser. Don't agree to anything you're unsure of."

Savers are risking an "own goal", say the watchdogs behind the campaign, by not understanding the value of their pension funds. Getting Tyldesley on-board was prompted by the fact that many people know far more about football finances than their own. A survey carried out in July found that they can more accurately say the cost of a season ticket than how much is in their pension pot.

Charles Counsell, Chief Executive of TPR, said: “Scammers wreck lives and no matter how big or small your savings are, every pot is a target. It may seem tempting to make a change to your pension fund now, but it’s important not to rush.

“Before making any decision about your pension, take your time, and visit the ScamSmart website to always check who you are dealing with.”

Mark Steward from the FCA said: "During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to defend your lifetime savings from scammers. Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much or how little you have saved."