You don’t have a secret bank account lying around, and it isn’t stored at the Federal Reserve.
Who Is It Targeting: Internet users who are targeted with emails, texts, or online videos
What Is It: A scam that reportedly gives you secret money to pay your bills
What Are They After: Whether you stumble across a legitimate-looking YouTube video or are contacted by a stranger, the message is the same: you can pay your bills using a “secret” account at the Federal Reserve. In exchange for filling out their form and giving them all your identifying information, you will supposedly receive account numbers and routing numbers for Federal Reserve accounts that you can use to pay your bills. At best, you just attempted to commit fraud by paying your bills with someone else’s money; since the account numbers aren’t real, you most likely just racked up a lot of late charges for failure to pay your bills on time while handing your identity over to a scammer.
How Can You Avoid It:
- First, learn to discern when a “too good to be true” opportunity is really breaking the law.
- Remember that there are no stockpiles of “free money” lying around for consumers to use or receive.
- Never give your identifying information to someone online who contacts you for it.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.