Unsolicited emails may be “phishing” attempts. The MTRS is not affiliated with, nor do we endorse any commercial companies.
Watch for emails offering “Employee Retirement Reviews”
We’ve recently been alerted of unsolicited emails to MTRS members offering appointments for “Employee Retirement Reviews” and have determined that these are likely Phishing attempts.
Occasionally, financial planning companies will use the “MTRS” name in their advertising or presentation materials, or otherwise imply that they can provide you with your personal MTRS retirement information.
If you receive any emails or invitations from third parties that appear to indicate that they have a connection with us, beware.
- We never grant permission for the use of the “MTRS” name or materials in any sales solicitations or presentations by financial planners or commercial entities.When we learn of the unauthorized use of our name or materials, we immediately contact the offender and advise them to modify their materials so that they in no way suggest that the information has been supplied, approved, sponsored, or endorsed by us.
- We do not share your personal MTRS retirement data with financial planners or firms. Your account data is confidential; we will provide it only to you or someone authorized by you, and only after we have verified your or your representative’s identity.
- We do not provide your address, phone number or email address to outside groups 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 [G.L. c. 4, s. 7 (26)(o)].
Beware of “Phishing”
“Phishing” is a common scheme in which a scammer sends a legitimate looking, yet fraudulent email designed to trick you into clicking a link or revealing personal and financial information. Phishing attacks, while most common in email, may also be attempted over the phone.
Here are some tips to assist you in identifying and avoiding fraudulent activity.
- How can I tell if it’s real? Red flags for scams. It can be difficult to identify potential scam emails; however, there are common red flags to look for such as grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. Look for language that creates a sense of urgency for you to act quickly. Carefully review both the links and email addresses to check for extra characters, dashes, or additional letters and numbers that don’t seem to belong. Place your mouse cursor, or “hover,” over a link or email address to reveal the link location or actual underlying email address.
- Be suspicious of all unsolicited phone calls or emails. No reputable organization, such as the MTRS, will contact you via phone or email asking for your personal or financial information.
- It might not be a legitimate email or phone call. Scammers try to trick you with emails and phone calls pretending to be from known organizations like the MTRS, your bank, government agencies such as the IRS or your city or town, or someone you know claiming to need money. They can “spoof” email addresses and phone numbers, making their fraudulent communication attempts look legitimate.
- Do not provide personal or financial information via email or over the phone. If you receive a suspicious email, do not click on any links, and do not reply or engage in any way. Delete the email immediately. Likewise, if you receive a suspicious phone call, do not engage and hang up immediately.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured. Most fraud schemes attempt to create a false sense of urgency and call on you to act quickly. Don’t allow scammers to pressure you into immediate action.
- Research the organization online. If you wish to verify the legitimacy of an email or call, contact the organization in question using the contact information found on the official organization website. Do not attempt to verify legitimacy using any email addresses, phone numbers, or links embedded in the questionable communication. Independent research is especially important if you are considering donating money in response to an unsolicited phone call or email.
Please note that emails from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System will always come from addresses that end with @trb.state.ma.us.
If you ever receive an unsolicited email, invitation, or call from a company offering to sell you financial services and claiming to have a connection with the MTRS or have access to your personal MTRS data, first, be cautious. Second, call us at 617-679-6877 or email GenInfo@trb.state.ma.us.