Postcode lottery for pension scams

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), people are most at risk of falling prey to attempted scams on their pensions or investments if they live in the East of England.

The FCA’s annual Financial Lives survey looks at the financial situation of people across the UK and highlights where people may be more vulnerable. It found that almost a quarter of adults across the UK have experienced an unsolicited approach about pensions or investments that might be a scam over the past year.

A high 69 per cent of people in the East of England claimed they had received unsolicited approaches by a claims management company. Meanwhile in other parts of the country, 31 per cent of people in Essex and 29 per cent of people in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire were approached. Interestingly, the places to live without fear of unsolicited approaches appear to be South Yorkshire at 14 per cent and Eastern Scotland at 16 per cent.

Moreover, the watchdog’s survey also revealed that people living in the countryside are less likely to be overdrawn or unable to clear their credit card balance each month. However, they are more likely to have a tougher time getting access to banking services.

According to the report, 13 per cent of adults aged 55 and over in rural areas, or those who are younger and have a long-term health condition, have difficulty getting to a bank. This compares with a figure of nine per cent in urban areas.

Compounding this problem, the 23 per cent take-up of mobile banking in rural areas is nearly half that in urban areas at 45 per cent. The survey found that, of those who never use the internet, 70 per cent live in rural areas.