According to CO-OP Financial Services, there has been an increase in fraud activity among U.S. financial institutions. The increase is due to non-factual instructional videos that persuade viewers that they have secret bank accounts and to make payments using a combination of a Federal Reserve routing number, account number, and social security number. A recent example is a YouTube video titled “You Have a Secret Bank Account-Here’s How to Use it.”
Below is a list created by CO-OP of Federal Reserve routing numbers that are being distributed via the scam videos. Additional routing numbers may eventually be used as well.
• Boston (1st District) 0110-0001-5
• New York (2nd District) 0210-0120-8
• Philadelphia (3rd District) 0310-0004-0
• Cleveland (4th District) 0410-0001-4
• Richmond (5th District) 0510-0003-3
• Atlanta (6th District) 0610-0014-6
• Chicago (7th District) 0710-0030-1
• St. Louis (8th District) 0810-0004-5
• Minneapolis (9th District) 0910-0008-0
• Kansas City (10th District) 1010-0004-8
• Dallas (11th District) 1110-0003-8
• San Francisco (12th District) 1210-0037-4
What You Need to Know (tips via CO-OP)
• A typical scenario involves a credit union member attempting to pay for a car loan using a Federal Reserve routing number in tandem with his or her social security number.
• There is no conceivable or legitimate situation in which an individual would submit a Federal Reserve routing number and social security number for any payment.
• There is no apparent ROI to the creators of the scam videos with the exception of creating disruption through misinformation.
• Manual detection of anomalous payment information appears to be the only current method for detecting and reversing potentially fraudulent payments linking to this scam.
• If you sustain a financial loss from one of these fraud schemes, email RTN.email@example.com
• The Federal Reserve has published consumer warnings on this topic at https://www.newyorkfed.org/banking/frscams.html