Scam-man & Robbin’ – Retro game raising awareness of pension scams

Retro game raising awareness of pension scams

Did you play endless games of Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers and Pacman when younger, or maybe you still play them now (yes, I am addicted to the app game Matchington Mansion)? I used to spend hours in ‘The Underground’, the Penzance arcade where the teenagers would hangout. I love an arcade game, so was VERY excited to see this new retro game, raising awareness of pension scams!!

Scam man and Robbin’ is here, a result of the recent Hackathon hosted by PensionBee. A meeting of brilliant pension technology minds and a collaboration between PensionBee, AgeWage, Smart Pension, Nutmeg, and technology partner JMAN Group.

Scary Facts Raising awareness of Pension Scams

I love a collaboration, and this is something so clever to highlight a huge issue in the UK, pension scams. Some scary facts. In 2019 the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator released research showing that 42% of pension savers, over 5 million people, could be at risk of falling for a scam. And the more educated you are the more likely you are to fall for a scam, due to over-confidence. Those with a university degree are 40% more likely to accept a free pension review, 21% more likely to accept an offer of early access to their pension. WOW!

Play the Game – Scam Man and Robbin’

Have a go at the game (on PC or phone), it is fun, the music gets in your head and it is my favourite colour purple. It also reminds me one of my favourite kid’s films, Wreck It Ralph, the design style is very similar.

You collect the coins and destroy the pension scams by shining your torch on them. You collect some great pension benefits that give you superpowers. Just watch out for scams, if you let them fall to the floor your pension pot reduces in size. The aim is to get the biggest value pension pot by the end of the three levels. With some practise I have got to £14,320. Can you beat me? Let me know on Twitter if you do!

The launch could not happen at a better time as Coronavirus times have INCREASED the amount of scam via online and phone calls. Action Fraud reported in March that scams have increased by a huge 400%, as opportunistic scammers attempt to exploit savers experiencing serious financial strain and looking to access their savings

Raising awareness of Pension Scams

Michelle Cracknell CBE, Non-Executive Director at PensionBee and former CEO

of the Pensions Advisory Service, commented:

As recent studies have shown, anyone can fall victim to a pension scam, regardless of

age or level of education. Scammers are increasingly sophisticated criminals who prey

on savers simply seeking to make the most of their money in a confusing pension

world. Scam Man and Robbin’ has the potential to go a long way towards raising

awareness and educating consumers of the pension scam warning signs. We are thrilled

to have successfully united some of the biggest innovators in pensions to bring this idea

to life and are confident we can solve the problem of pension scams if the industry

continues to work together.”


About Scam Man and Robbin’

In November 2019 PensionBee organised a Pension Scams Hackathon. They invited representatives from the UK’s most ambitious digital pension platforms to combine their skills and develop the concept for a game that educates consumers about pension scams.

The winning concept, Scam Man & Robbin’, was chosen for its retro design, the concept of “shining a light on scams” and choosing a vigilante as the protagonist, rather than a scammer or victim. The Hackathon was inspired by “Scams and Ladders”, an investment scams board game, created by Emily Rosenorn-Lanng and Dr Sally Lee of Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSW), led by Professor Keith Brown.

Scam Man and Robbin’ was built by JMAN Group, using BabylonJS, a lightweight JavaScript based WebGL game engine library. Inspired by one of the world’s most-loved superheroes, Scam Man and Robbin’ has a distinctly retro feel which is reflected in the sound effects and pixel art visuals. While fighting pension scams is a brand-new concept for an online game, the central mechanic of collecting coins, and use of familiar devices such as invincibility bonuses, is universal, helping to create a sense of nostalgia.

Scam Man and Robbin’ is designed for consumers of all ages and gamers and non-gamers alike, balancing educational scams content with a narrative that’s fun and entertaining from start to finish.

Please be aware that any form of investment can go up and down. You may want to consider advice from a qualified IFA. Just make sure they come recommended by a trusted friend and check their investment levels.  Some will only work with clients with an investment level of at least £100k. This post was written in collaboration with PensionBee.


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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