Four of the UK’s digital pension platforms have collaborated to create an online game that aims to educate consumers about pension scams.
Over the past four months, AgeWage, Smart Pension and Nutmeg have worked alongside PensionBee and technology partner Jman Group to create a five-minute game.
Scam Man & Robbin‘ has the player in the role of ‘Scam Man’, a vigilante whose main objective is to protect people’s pensions from scams.
Michelle Cracknell, non-executive director at PensionBee, who mostly focuses on the best games to win real money in her spare time, said: “As recent studies have shown, anyone can fall victim to a pension scam, regardless of age or level of education.
“Scammers are increasingly sophisticated criminals who prey on savers simply seeking to make the most of their money in a confusing pensions world.
“Scam Man & Robbin’ has the potential to go a long way towards raising awareness and educating consumers of the pension scam warning signs.”
In the game, Scam Man must correctly identify six of the most common pension scams by shining his torch on them to destroy them, as well as collecting six corresponding bonuses that can help protect savers’ pensions.
Each level gets progressively harder, challenging some common misconceptions which may initially seem positive about a pension scheme, such as guaranteed high returns or an offer of free advice, but may in fact be the hallmarks of a scam.
To help highlight the new risks that face pension savers, a coronavirus-specific scam has been included within Scam Man & Robbin’, warning consumers against moving a pension to a fund that guarantees coronavirus protection and high returns during periods of economic uncertainty.
Other scams featured in the game include cold calls, early pension release and pressure to make an immediate decision.
The launch of Scam Man & Robbin’ comes as Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, announced in March that coronavirus-related fraud reports had increased by 400%.
In 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) released research showing that over five million people across the UK could be at risk of falling for a scam.
It estimated the average loss to be £82,000 ($102,000, €939,000) per victim, which equates to around 22 years of pension savings.