Scammers who try to swindle pensioners across the UK have started to target Methodist ministers and widowed spouses.
An 86-year-old widow recently reported one such fraudster to the Methodist Ministers’ Pension Scheme. A caller had phoned her, claiming to be from the Methodist Church.
They knew she was receiving a pension, and also offered to help her with her computer. But their target was not an easy one. ‘The call was suspicious,’ she said, ‘and my guard went up straightaway.’
The widow hung up and promptly reported the incident to the pensions team at Methodist Church House. She shared the phone number from where the call originated.
Her quick thinking alerted the pensions team. They responded by checking the number on the web. They found numerous other people had been targets of this scammer.
‘Be aware of and disregard scam calls claiming to be The Methodist Ministers’ Pension Scheme,’ said MMPS Pensions Administrator Tony Pritchard. ‘We wouldn’t ask for any bank account details over the phone.’
There is plenty of advice on the internet on how to deal with scam calls. MMPS and the housing society suggest the following simple guidelines:
– beware of any unexpected or ‘cold’ calls about your pension;
– disbelieve cold calls about transferring any or all of your pension;
– if pensions advice sounds too good to be true, it usually is;
– never give your bank details or personal information to a cold caller;
– should you become suspicious about any such call, hang up and check with the pensions team or housing society at Methodist Church House.
The Pensions Regulator has issued important advice on this issue. Read all about it here. (This article is the full version of a story that appears in the spring 2017 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots.)