DEALING WITH STRESS WHEN SCAMMED
OUT OF YOUR PENSION
Being scammed out of a big chunk of your pension once is bad enough. But TWICE is awful. Double pension scam victim Jessica M.J. talks about her experience and gives other victims advice about how to cope with the stress that results from being a pension scam victim.
Jessica was scammed by Continental Wealth Management – one of Pension Life’s top-ten worst scammers – into the Evergreen QROPS scheme. Continental Wealth Management was acting as the cold callers and lead generators to Stephen Ward’s firm Premier Pension Solutions. Evergreen was a New Zealand pension scheme which was being used for pension liberation fraud using Ward’s pension loan company, Marazion. Jessica did not get (and was not offered) a loan.
Jessica was brave and generous enough to share her own story – which, sadly, was so typical of hundreds of other cases. However, she was one of the few who were actually scammed twice by Continental Wealth Management. She spoke of her own feelings: “I was very angry. I felt betrayed, cheated.”
After losing a third of her pension, Jessica was then moved by Continental Wealth Management to a Malta QROPS and put into an Old Mutual International insurance bond (which she didn’t need and couldn’t afford – and only served to earn the scammers a hefty commission). By investing what was left of the fund in high-risk, professional-investor-only structured notes, half of what was left of Jessica’s pension was then destroyed. So she ended up losing two thirds of her hard-earned retirement savings.
Continental Wealth Management collapsed at the end of September 2017, leaving hundreds of victims with their pension funds in ruins and facing poverty in retirement. Old Mutual International, Generali and SEB – the life offices who allowed this devastation to happen and stood idly by while the structured notes destroyed the victims’ funds – have done nothing to compensate the victims for their losses.
Jessica has advised the public:
“There’s a lot of scammers out there – check ’em out!”
Sadly, if Jessica had known the questions to ask, the warning signs were there from the start. Continental Wealth Management was not licensed for investment advice. Few of the so-called advisers had any qualifications relevant to financial advice. The investments were professional-investor-only structured notes provided by RBC, Commerzbank, Nomura and Leonteq – among others. Continental Wealth Management used life bonds provided by Old Mutual International, Generali and SEB. These bonds served absolutely no purpose except to pay the scammers huge commissions. Dealing instructions had forged client signatures and the advisers lied about the losses when they were first reported claiming they were “only paper losses, and would recover”.