People who consider themselves to be financially savvy are just as likely to fall for investment scams as everyone else, U.K. regulators report.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have reported that an online survey they carried out in June with over 2,000 pension holders aged between 45 and 65 found that 42% are potentially vulnerable to various scams targeting their retirement savings.
And, the likelihood of falling for these sorts of scams rises to 60% among investors who are actively looking for ways to boost their retirement income.
The most effective tactics for scammers include cold calls and schemes offering exotic investment opportunities, such as overseas real estate, renewable energy bonds and other high-risk investments, the regulators report, with 23% of respondents saying they would be likely to fall for these approaches.
Schemes that promise early access to retirement savings, or guaranteed returns, ranked next, at 17% and 13%, respectively.
Additionally, the regulators reported that their research found that investors who consider themselves to be financially savvy are just as likely to be persuaded by these tactics as anyone else.
“Most people are confident in their ability to avoid being scammed. We tend to assume that it would never happen to us because we think we’d notice something if it wasn’t right. But even the smartest and savviest among us can become victims of crimes and we do often have a ‘blind spot,’” psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said in a statement.
“Sophisticated scammers take advantage of this and use powerful psychological techniques to build trust and rapport and ultimately to influence our behaviour,” she added.