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How to avoid scams

 

Know the red flags

The most common types of scams will target you through fake emails, text messages, voice calls, letters or even someone who shows up at your front door unexpectedly. No matter which technique the scammer uses, you may be:

 

  • Instructed to not trust Merrill, or to respond to questions in untruthful ways
  • Pressured to send money
  • Threatened with law enforcement action
  • Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
  • Asked to cash a check for a stranger or send money via wire transfer
  • Asked to deposit a check that overpays for something you're selling, then send the difference elsewhere

 

Know the scams

Scammers use different tactics to get victims to fall for their schemes. In some cases, they can be friendly, sympathetic and seem willing to help. In others, they use fear tactics to persuade a victim. Select the scam type from the following list to see a typical message from a scammer and the red flags that should cause you concern.

 

Click + for more insights.

 

 

Want to learn more? Read about the red flags of senior financial exploitation and make sure to visit the AARP page for additional resources on fraud and scams.

 

 

Know the best ways to avoid being scammed

  • Don’t respond: If you’re not 100% certain of the source of the call, email or text, then hang up the phone, don’t click on the link in the email and don’t reply to the text message.
  • Don’t trust caller ID or answer phone calls from unknown numbers: If you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up the phone. Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear to be from a legitimate caller.
  • Don’t give out your information: Never provide any personally identifiable information unless you’re absolutely certain the person and reason are legitimate. Remember: Merrill will never ask you to send us personal information such as an account number, Social Security number or Tax ID over text, email or online.
  • Research and validate: If the individual or organization seems suspicious, make sure the request being made is legitimate by calling the organization through an official number from their website or consulting with a trusted family member or friend.

 

 

 

If you feel you may have been a victim of a scam, contact us immediately at 1.800.MERRILL (637.7455) or speak to your financial advisor.

 

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