If you receive an unsolicited call from an individual who is requesting that you immediately pay a sum of money, beware—it is most likely a scam.

Often, these individuals will claim to be from a legitimate organization and request that you make a payment in some dubious way (such as prepaid credit cards, reloadable debit cards or gift cards)—they may even spoof a genuine phone number to trick your caller ID. In this situation, the best thing to do is to say nothing and just hang up. If your bank, the IRS, the MTRS or some other organization has a legitimate need to communicate with you about a payment, it will always be in writing, not over the phone.

With many reports of phone scams in the news, we would like to remind our members and retirees that we will never make any unsolicited calls to request any payments or changes to your account, nor do we provide your phone number to others except pursuant to a public records request from a criminal justice agency or an organization that qualifies for an exemption under the Commonwealth’s public records law [M.G.L. c. 4, §7(26)(o)].

If you ever receive a call from anyone claiming to be from the MTRS and requesting payment in the form of a credit, debit or gift card, please contact us immediately at 617-679-6877.

You can learn more about protecting yourself from phone scams by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website where you can also see a list of active scam alerts