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PFS renews calls for broader ban on cold calling

Hundreds sign up to PFS anti-scamming campaign

The Personal Finance Society has urged the Government to introduce a broader ban on cold calling than initially proposed, as part of its submission to a consultation on pensions scams.

Lodged with the Treasury on Monday, the submission calls for the ban to extend across all electronic communication channels including uninvited emails, texts, promotional brochures and social media interaction. It also suggests that the ban cover general investments as well as pensions.

Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards said: "Pension scams come in many forms and it is in the nature of innovative scammers that if one 'route to market' is closed, they will seek out another."

"For this reason, the ban on cold calling should extend as far and wide as necessary to stamp out the work of financial predators who continue to prey on the vulnerable in our community.

"We must also remain wary of new methods adopted by cold callers and scammers, and ensure that we have the legislative flexibility to prosecute against innovative scammers in the market."

The Personal Finance Society has stepped up its campaign against cold callers and scammers in recent weeks, including its new national anti-scamming initiative, which it is delivering in conjunction with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Hundreds of Personal Finance Society members have already signed up to the campaign, with many more pledging to spend 15 minutes each month scouring press, web and telephone promotions to help identify and report potential scams.

"We believe the Government, regulators and financial advice professionals have a common and joint responsibility to act in the interests of consumers by seeking out and eliminating the unscrupulous behaviour of cold callers, scammers and fraudsters," Mr Richards said.

"Financial advisers are best placed to spot potential scams, and the response from our members to the new ScamSmart campaign clearly shows that the profession is eager to contribute in the wider effort of helping protect consumers."

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