I’m sorry to have to report this, but men in their 50’s (that’s me unfortunately) are statistically most at risk from financial scams than any other group.
According to the FCA a massive £31 million has been lost to scams since 2017 – so it’s a lucrative business for crooks.
But why are us over 50 guys most vulnerable?
There are a few reasons, but one of the most common is that we are most likely to think that we know what we are doing with our money and don’t need any help. This is a real issue and one hear a lot when I’m out and about with friends of a similar age. The general view will be along the lines of “I have a mate who’s made £X and £Y doing it himself”. My usual response is to ask why they don’t also do their own dentistry themselves to save money as they can watch a You Tube video to see how to do it!
One of the other main reasons cited is greed I’m afraid. Scammers are very good at making you an offer that seems very lucrative, but one which anyone in the business would know was too good to be true. If you had a qualified adviser, they would be quickly able to spot this and save you. So even if you don’t have an adviser it would be worth checking with one first before making any decisions.
The final reason seems to be cost. Us men it seems are always on the lookout for a bargain and we don’t like paying for advice, despite us all knowing only too well the old maxim buy cheap pay twice. Unfortunately, when it comes to your life savings it can be a case of buy cheap – lose the lot.
So please think about it fellas, are you really qualified to be making investment decisions, is it really that expensive when you consider what you could gain and more importantly what you could lose and if it sounds too good to be true it most certainly is!
A further update this week on the importance of being alert to scams. A new survey from The Police Foundation estimates that pensions in the UK are worth – wait for it – 6,200,000,000,000 – £6,2 trillion, that accounts for 42% of ALL the wealth in the UK, more than the value of property. This is exactly why pensions are targeted by professional criminals looking to trick people out of their pension funds – simply because there is so much money held in pensions.
It might also be worth looking out for ITV’s new programme Financial Wellbeing which is coming soon. The programme is supported by the Personal Finance Society and will look at how to get financial advice, how to access your pension and importantly, how to recognise and avoid scams.