August 28, 2017 — From June to mid-August 15, nearly 107,000 payments for more than $100 million were attempted by people trying to use the latest financial scam. Unfortunately for those who tried, all of the payments were nullified. In this “too good to be true” flim flam people are being told there are secret accounts at the Federal Reserve that ordinary people can tap into to pay bills, if they learn how. All you need to do is add your Social Security number to some routing numbers at the Federal Reserve Bank and, presto, your bills are paid!
Only problem being, it’s a hoax. If you try to make an automatic deduction or online payment from these secret checking account you could end up being hit with late fees, returned check charges, etc., because by the time you you learn about the problem your actual payment will be late.
No one is quite sure what the scammers are up to by propagating this false bonanza. Best guess is identity theft – by trying to get your Social Security number and other data. Various “how-to’s” on the scam (how to use them and how not to be scammed) are available on the Internet including Youtube (which takes down the bad ones when discovered).
In July the Federal Reserve Bank of New Orleans issued this warning statement: “Any video, text, email, phone call, flier, or website that describes how to pay bills using a Federal Reserve Bank routing number or using an account at the Federal Reserve Banks is a scam.”
My mother’s adage always comes to mind about how to handle these things (after she was fleeced by a Florida broker) – “If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!”
Comments? Have you fallen for, or avoided any financial scams lately? Unfortunately as we age we are more likely to be taken in. Vigilance!