Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to use the forthcoming Autumn Statement to announce plans to ban businesses from cold calling retirees.
Eight scam calls are made every second to pensioners in the UK, according to the Treasury. It also estimates that, between April 2015 and March 2016, pensioners lost an estimated £19 million to criminals, with 11 million individuals having been targeted by cold callers.
In a statement on the matter, the Treasury said: ‘Cold calls often present scams as unique investment opportunities, such as investing your pension pot in a new hotel in an exotic location or in various ‘ethical’ projects that promise massive returns.’
Under the government’s proposals, all calls where a business has no existing relationship with the individual will be banned.
To deter businesses from making such cold calls, the government could enforce fines of up to £500,000.
However, the ban would not be extended to prevent nuisance texts or emails.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, commented: ‘The government’s ban on pension cold calls is the right move to protect people. The power to fine scammers also means enforcement bodies will be able to put a stop to any scammers that still target people’s savings.’