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Fraud Protection

COVID-19 and Payment Relief

COVID-19 solutions

Protect your finances from fraud

It's critical to be caring for your physical safety right now—but what about your financial safety? With so much uncertainty and so many heightened emotions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's an easy time to be the victim of a financial scam.

Help keep your finances and personal information safe by learning about fraud prevention.

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Do's and don'ts of fraud prevention

Always remember: MERCO Bank will never use phone calls, text messages, or emails asking you to provide, update, or verify personal information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, PINs, or credit or check card numbers.

  • Don't give in to COVID-19 scams

    There are already reports of scams involving Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and Paycheck Protection Program loans, as well as fake at-home coronavirus testing kits or vaccines. Criminals work fast to take advantage of scary situations.

  • Understand your EIP benefits

    Economic Impact Payments are now being distributed through direct deposit. For those without bank information on file with the IRS, checks will soon be arriving by mail. Find out how your payment will arrive, and how much it will be for by logging onto the IRS's Get My Payment website. Beware of fake checks with extra payments, requests to return overpayments by personal check, money order, or gift card, or urgent requests for personal information in order to receive your payment.

  • Don't be a victim of social media

    Social media scams often come in two different forms.


    • Viral posts or games—Answering a series of personal questions or sharing an old photo of yourself may seem like a fun way to pass the time and connect with friends. Unfortunately, scammers can use this information for malicious purposes.
    • Fraudulent posts promoting products or information—Watch out for offers that seem too good to be true, or payment being requested by bitcoin or other uncommon methods. A quick internet search can usually help you determine if a post is legitimate.
  • Don't give in to pressure

    Many scammers will create a sense of urgency to take advantage of you. This is especially effective during these difficult times when many people are emotionally vulnerable. Beware of high-pressure or time-sensitive asks for financial or personal information.

  • Don't send money to strangers

    Don't send checks, money orders, gift cards, cash, or wire transfers to anyone you don't know. Beware of emotional grandparent scams or enticing fake check scams.

  • Proofread messages you receive

    Email (phishing) and text message scams can often be identified by poor grammar or misspellings. They may also direct you to legitimate-looking links. To view the real URL of a hyperlink, hover your mouse over the linked text. Don't trust an email that doesn't sound right or is directing you to an unknown website, even if it looks like an official communication.

  • Don't download attachments

    If you don't know or can't confirm the sender of an email, don't download any attachments they sent you. This is especially true of files ending in .zip, .exe, .doc, .pdf, or .xls.

  • Be suspicious

    Many phishing scams will come from authentic-looking email addresses or cleverly disguised caller ID numbers. If you can't verify a request on your own, reach out to the company that claims to have sent it.

Stay home by using our digital banking solutions

Use our digital banking options to conduct everyday transactions such as checking your balance, making payments, transferring funds and earning profits.

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