An examination centred on transactions made in so-called ”‘storage pods,” which may be used by those intending to commit fraud in the area of pension liberation scams, has been opened by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The SFO operates under the auspices of the attorney general, and with jurisdiction over Northern Ireland, England and Wales, it looks into serious corruption and fraud.
Henley Retirement, Westminster Pension Scheme, Trafalgar Multi-Asset Fund, and Capita Oak Pension and their respective involvements are being delved into by the SFO. There are separate investigations in Florida in the United States (US) and Mauritius.
The SFO has indicated that more than 1,000 people have been duped to the tune of approximately £120 million.
Because this is just the beginning, it is feared, the SFO is advising individuals who have spent money on anything related to storage pod investments between the years of 2011 through 2017 go online to complete a survey about such activities.
The way the scam works involves suggesting to potential investors that if they buy pods or other methods of storage that they would be leased or rented to their benefit by generating cash. The problem came to light when those to whom profits were promised did not always come to fruition thereby having storage units they could not sell off.
Kate Smith, head of pensions at the pension and retirement specialists firm, Aegon, when asked to give her opinions on the scams, said, “The SFO investigation into storage pod investment schemes is a timely reminder that unregulated unusual investments at home or abroad come with a high risk that people could lose all their hard-earned pension and other savings.
“Savers must be on their guard. Promises of high returns or financial inducements are often scams and people falling for this type of investment scam run the risk of their lifetime’s savings being lost in a matter of seconds.”