I was approached out of the blue by a financial advisor from Equitable. He told me that the people from the company referred me and that they provide free financial advice and services because they have a third party agreement with my company. However, I must provide the values of my pension, salary, savings, stock options, etc. but I do not have to provided the account information. That rang so many bells:

  • No agreement about information protection
  • I must share a lot of private information
  • They provided only one reference and stated that they will provide more

I contacted a high level reference man in my company but his persona also looks strange. He is working for several companies.

This all looks very shady. Is this a scam?

  • 1
    I'm confused - the person in your company works for several other companies? If someone in your company knows about this I highly doubt it's a scam - it's way easier to get personal information without planting a mole in your company.
    – D Stanley
    Jan 22, 2021 at 15:36
  • 2
    BTW, none of the info you list is "identifying", meaning it does not contain any identifying information. Even a legitimate adviser would want those things to plan out a retirement roadmap.
    – D Stanley
    Jan 22, 2021 at 15:36
  • 3
    Does your company offer a retirement account like a 401(k)? If so, I believe they have tool offer advisory service from a 3rd party, and Equitable is a player in that space (and yes, they'll ask a lot of questions about your financial situation before offering advice about your finances)
    – quid
    Jan 22, 2021 at 15:39
  • The @quid comment is on point: for example, my employer's 401(k) provider regularly pesters me about this kind of thing.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 22, 2021 at 15:45
  • I've worked for medium size companies that contract a part time employee benefits broker to handle some employee benefits issues; as a part timer the contractor would work for more than just my employer. Is this possibly what the "reference man" does?
    – user662852
    Jan 22, 2021 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


It's always suspicious when someone offers you financial advise without you asking them to, and it's definitely justified to question their motives.

But it's not uncommon for companies to work together with external finance advise companies to advise their employees regarding their retirement plans. It is of course not inconceivable that a scammer tries to convince you that they have such an arrangement with your company when they in fact do not. So you might want to ask your HR department or do some research on your corporate intranet to find out if your company is indeed working together with this service provider. Do not rely on information which comes from the service provider in that regard.

But even if they are really working on behalf of your employer, then there is of course always the risk that your employer chose poorly when picking a finance advise company. So never sign anything without taking it home, reading it completely, understanding it completely and doing the math to see if it's actually a good deal for you.

  • Corporate intranet is silent about this. Thanks for the comments!
    – chupvl
    Jan 22, 2021 at 18:57

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