Unsolicited letter - Aviva?

I've had a letter headlined as being from Aviva.

To effect of "We believe that you may have a policy with Aviva or one of its previous companies.....however our records show that post issued to you in the past has been returned by the Royal Mail as 'Return to Sender'/'Gone Away' ".

"We are concerned that you might have assets which we are unable to inform you about as we no longer hold up to date information for you.....we have traced you to the above address."

I am wondering if this letter is for real or no.

It does seem odd that further down the letter (after giving me an online link to click on and a phone number of 0800 121 7632 to verify my details over the phone) they say "once we have verified your details we will be in touch....to confirm that your address has been updated".

Errrr...hello....but they obviously have updated my address - as they wrote to me here (ie at a house I moved to about 3 years ago and subsequent to retiring).

I guess there is a possibility that maybe this is genuine and something to do with some pension from a previous job I'm unaware of? - as I retired at my retirement age (ie 60) and moved to Wales. Since moving here - I've reached my revised State Pension Age and the rest of my pension is now payable (ie as well as the Civil Service pension I started getting at 60).

I had various jobs prior to joining the Civil Service - so I'm wondering if its something to do with one of them (ie I had a lump sum payment from 2 of them previous to 60).

Do people think this is for real and I am due for some money OR is it a scam?
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Replies

  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Errrr...hello....but they obviously have updated my address - as they wrote to me here (ie at a house I moved to about 3 years ago and subsequent to retiring).

    Dont assume all policies got updated though. Aviva is a collection of many insurance companies. They have something like 9 different systems in place for companies trading under the Aviva name. That doesnt include the Friends Life companies which are now starting to see the Aviva influences (forms etc) come into play.

    It is very common for customers to have policies under multiple systems or policies taken out at different times not being linked under the same customer but having multiple customer records with one policy on each. So, the change of address may only have occured on one record and not the other.
    Do people think this is for real and I am due for some money OR is it a scam?

    Aviva do pay for a tracing company and the content sounds normal. However, to be on the safe side, right them up on a telephone number from their website. Tell them you have had this letter and let them do a search from there.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    I agree it's unlikely to be a scam.

    Contact Aviva directly to be sure, there'll be a reference number on the letter.

    I wouldn't provide any sensitive personal details over the 'phone, but (as you point out) they already have your new address..
  • Fingers crossed then that I'm correct in thinking the odds are better than 50/50 that it's for real.

    There are 2 possible employers I had back in my 20s and 30s that I'm wondering about here - though I thought they'd both repaid me everything I'm due for prior to 60.

    Guess it's worth a try then - as it wouldnt be much if so (low-paid jobs and not done for very long) - but every little helps...
  • SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    The LGPS sends out similar letters when deferred pension members don't update their address details. The LGPS uses a tracing serving, which gives the current address of the most likely match. It's not unheard of for more than one person to have the same name and date of birth - hence the request for proof of identity.
  • I see your point about this - as there was someone with the same name as me living pretty near me back before I moved (the only difference was "her" surname was her husbands - whereas mine is the one I was born with).

    I'm definitely beginning to feel quite hopeful about this:)

    As far as I can figure out - that proof of identity would be giving them my NI number. Is it safe to give out one's NI number to anyone? - ie even a scammer couldnt actually do anything with it?

    (I never used to be this cynical.....:cool:).
  • SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    I see your point about this - as there was someone with the same name as me living pretty near me back before I moved (the only difference was "her" surname was her husbands - whereas mine is the one I was born with).

    I'm definitely beginning to feel quite hopeful about this:)

    As far as I can figure out - that proof of identity would be giving them my NI number. Is it safe to give out one's NI number to anyone? - ie even a scammer couldnt actually do anything with it?

    (I never used to be this cynical.....:cool:).
    In these cases, the LGPS would ask for the NI number, a photocopy of the birth certificate and a signed declaration confirming they were the person the LGPS was seeking.

    If you're still unsure, check that the return address on the envelope matches the contact address on Aviva's website.
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  • The Aviva letter is not from Aviva but from Capita - a tracing agency. If you type in the address on the return envelope you will see that 65 Gresham Street is the tracing agency address, not Aviva's. They just want you to contact them so they can tell you about your pension (which you probably already know about!) and charge you for the service. How they are allowed to use an Aviva letterhead and claim to be Aviva I do not know. It's all very underhand and deceitful. My letter went into the bin.
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    Why do you think there would be a charge if you've thrown the latter away and not contacted them? ? On what basis do you make that claim?

    In the OPs case it seemed likely there was another forgotten pension. Could this be the case with you and you've thrown some money away?
    Also if they are a tracing agency employed by Aviva it seems quite reasonable they can use an Aviva letterhead and it also increases the chances that someone who does have an Aviva pension would respond rather than think "no i never had a Capita pension" and so throw the letter away. Most likely you've shot yourself in the foot since at worst you could have contacted Aviva directly and ask them.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    The Aviva letter is not from Aviva but from Capita - a tracing agency. If you type in the address on the return envelope you will see that 65 Gresham Street is the tracing agency address, not Aviva's.

    That is to be expected. most insurers use a tracing company.
    They just want you to contact them so they can tell you about your pension (which you probably already know about!)

    You may already know about it but the insurer is saying they have had mail returned and do not hold your current address. So, it would be logical to get this sorted.
    and charge you for the service.

    no they dont. That is BS.
    How they are allowed to use an Aviva letterhead and claim to be Aviva I do not know.

    Because the provider is using their services.
    It's all very underhand and deceitful. My letter went into the bin.
    Crazy.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Hi moneyistooshorttomention.
    I would be very interested to know the outcome, if you followed up the letter. An elderly relative has a received a similar one purporting to come from Aviva and asked for advice.
    I was going to suggest they called, until they mentioned it involved Capita!
    Many thanks.
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