A new scam has recently hit social media, and we want you to be aware. Scammers start by telling individuals that the U.S. government has “secret” bank accounts set up for individuals at the Federal Reserve. From there, the scam can take a couple of different paths. The end goal for the scammer is to convince you to give them your Social Security number. This is a precious piece of personal information that the scammer can either use or sell on the Dark Web.
In the first variation, the potential victim may be told they can pay their bills and make electronic purchases using this account. To do that, they’re instructed to set up ACH payments (an electronic network for financial transactions) using a routing number linked to the Federal Reserve System (the central banking system of the U.S.) or another financial institution. They’re told to use their Social Security number as the account number. When this happens, they’ve just given a very valuable piece of personal information to a crook, and since it’s a fake account, the payment will either immediately or eventually be denied. Among other problems, victims may face fees for late or rejected payments from financial institutions and other companies they were trying to pay.
In a different variation of this scam, victims are told that they’ll be given the account number for this “secret” account once they provide the scammer with their Social Security number. Once they give the scammer their Social Security number and/or additional personal information, victims are given a fake account number for their “secret” account at the Federal Reserve. Of course, individuals can’t have accounts at the Federal Reserve, so what has really happened is that victims have handed over their personal information to a scammer and will receive nothing but headaches in return.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam or see advertisements for accessing your Federal Reserve Bank account, the Federal Trade Commission is asking you to report it. If you’ve given out your PSECU account information as part of this scam, please contact us at 800.237.7328.
Remember, you should never give out your financial account information or Social Security number to anyone. If you do, it’s important that you contact us immediately so we can help protect your account and your money.
As your trusted financial partner, we provide free tips and resources so you can take steps to prevent identity theft from happening to you. Visit our WalletWorks page for more information.