No secret bank accounts to pay your bills

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Another day, another scam. Case in point: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that scammers are telling people they can pay their bills using so-called “secret accounts” or “Social Security trust accounts” and routing numbers at Federal Reserve Banks. In exchange for personal information, like Social Security numbers, people get what they think is a bank account number at a Federal Reserve Bank. But this really is just a way to get your personal information, which scammers can then sell or use to commit fraud, like identity theft.


It’s good to keep in mind that people do not have accounts at Federal Reserve Banks. Only banks can bank at the Federal Reserve. But what happens if you try to use this “secret” account? Well, the Federal Reserve Bank will deny the payment, since you don’t really have an account there. Once the payment is rejected, you’ll be notified that you still owe the money – which is about when you might figure out that this was a scam. At that point, you may owe a late fee or penalty to the company you thought you were paying. You also may owe fees to your bank for returned or rejected payments.


If you see a video, text, email, phone call, flyer, or website that describes how you can pay bills using a Federal Reserve Bank routing number or account, report it to the FTC. It’s a scam. And remember: never give your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number to anyone who calls or emails and asks for it – no matter who they say they are.


Life won't give you free lunch, when people get that idea, they have to pay a heavy fortune to get that free lunch and may be end up another story ! I have a story to share to tell that I did already in my local department and will post on a website next week when everything is cleared. New tech society will help identity thief steal financial info and hurt individual. Careful is only way i can tell.

Exactly!!!..Feds don't want anyone to know about it, which is why they are posting it as a SCAM....they have fraudulently hurt the American People! not the other way around....I have not been obliged to try this, however, if you will start researching for "yourself" regarding so called might be surprised, what the Feds have gotten away with! just sayin....

Wow I really feel u r telling the truth!!

If it was a scam what is the jail time and if it is not a scam who's going to jail for making false bank accounts with millions of dollars

Is there something that is being done to catch the scammers?

Law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is aware of this scheme, and the Federal Reserve Banks, including the New York Fed, have been cooperating with law enforcement in their investigations. Individuals who participate in such schemes could face criminal charges. 

Hmmmm so far no reported arrests made towards people attempting this or towards the ones delivering the info. Where is your information coming from??

The New York Federal Reserve issued a statement on the scam, and said that the Federal Reserve Banks provide banking services only to banks and governmental entities; individuals do not have accounts at the Federal Reserve.

maybe its like bait car. they expose their own actions.

thanks ciu friends

Thanks again

Another recent scammer calls and say "I am against you. Call back immediately"

Yes thank you, I want to ask about people keep calling that gov a given me free money almost everyday to call 202-681-8425

I started to opt out of all sales pitches thru FTC web but stopped when it went to a website not controlled by FTC which requires ssan, DOB etc. That's crazy, im sure security/scam experts would say dont put such info out there. Phone #, name, address should be enough. Even FTC complaint form doesnt request this info.

If you decide that you don't want to get prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices. You can:

  • opt out of receiving them for five years or
  • opt out of receiving them permanently.

If you choose to opt-out of offers of credit and insurance, you'll be asked to provide personal information to prove your identity.

The group that calls themselves Anonymous, posted a video to FB two days ago on how to access the "secret bank accounts" we all allegedly have. Thanks for the heads up. I assumed it was bogus, but I'm glad you verified that.

Had not heard of this but I am letting all my folks know about this scam.

Thank you for this information!

What is the truth on a "Bill Pay" from your own bank. I like using it and I have a loan with a company who say they are not equipped for a "bill pay" and will only do a direct withdrawal. They can't be trusted because they tried to take out a second payment in the same month and now my bank will not honor any withdrawal from them. Can you please explain if I am being victimized by the company or can they actually refuse "bill pay"? My actual loan was $1300 and after almost two years paying them, they say I still owe them $1,070. Payments were $59.65 a month. They also keep putting late and no payments on my credit report which cause a lot of havoc. Would appreciate your input. Thank you

You can dispute errors on your credit report. You can make a complaint about a bank or lender  to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Federal Reserve is the scam;all banks are cancer of life & leeches of human energy....your time will come!

Thanks; psychological reversal in play! What's next?

I agree why do accounts go marked100%paid then get reverced

Have you tried it?

I keep getting a scam call from 800-279-2417. They call my landline phone which has the fabulous nomorobo call blocker site helping block the call. They have called 4 times so far today from 4:13 pm to just before 6pm eastern time. Please investigate this phone number. Thanks for catching the scammers. Hopefully the FTC can hire more employees to catch the scammers more quickly.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments. Please go to to report this.

so thankful for this info. I showed my husband all this info. he truly thought he won the lottery but had to pay to have it sent to our front door. he would not listen to me until I showed him this web site. thank you so much. tonya

Do some research on your own and you'll learn the truth .

He doesn't have to pay a dime ! Do some research on your own you'll see that it's true . Do some real research

Look there has to be some success with this idea. ok so dont give up any vitals.....but I do believe there is something worth research

My best friend rec'd. a call telling her she had just won over $500 Million dollars, along with a big "spiel", and asking a lot of personal questions which she refused to answer. She asked me about it, and I told her the next step was to inform her they couldn't get a check to her, but with her bank info, they could "wire it to her acct. Needless to say, she finally realized it was a scam, & hung up. How stupid do they think
we older folks are????????

If I got an email about this, chances are I wouldn't even understand it, much less fall for it.

However, the bottom line is pretty simple. If it seems too good to be true, it is.

That's super sad. I believed it too! Well I'm glad I came across this post lol...feel so dumb. Really needed help with kids school supplies and clothes. Well at least I know now thank you!!

If you all do some checking, you will find some very interesting information.

usually if the number comes out as starting with (202) area code then its most definitely a scam.. and they're actually not calling from washington d.c. they're calling from overseas using some of program to make it seem they're calling from the states when they're not... so beware of this scam u guys...

(202) is prefix for VIRGINIA

202 is D.C. NOT VA.

The first time i got a call from them i was transferred to someone else, he answered by saying his name, i realized this was a scam and hung up. They wanted me too pay $250 fee at western union 3 times for a government Grant of $9000, they still call and each time it's a different area code.

I received the same call today. They claim they are calling on behalf of the US TREASURY DEPT. That you have been selected of 1500 citizens to receive a $9,000 grant. WHEN is someone going to really do something about all of this?!!

I get several calls a day to my magic jack that I use only for messages. I delete any number that I am not familiar with. Same for my cell and landline.

What about calls from a supposed states attorney's office, saying a warrant will be issued for non payment of a debt. Correct me if I am wrong, but personal debt is a civil matter, right?

FTC has some good blogs on Government Imposters

The scam is that account numbers and routing numbers are connected to each citizens social how is that please do explain. Also we have paper bonds connected to our birth certificates so explain this

the paper bonds? are you referring to the video on you tube? that guy was thinking the number on his birth certificate was a bond number. what the number is though, has nothing to do with bonds. it is the number of birth certificates chronologically. treasury direct paper bonds are bonds purchased by someone to earn money.

how is it a scam if you randomly go to a bank of your choice and pay the bill of your choice. youre not giving any info to a specific person what would they proffit from it.

 If you try use the “secret” account the Federal Reserve Bank will deny the payment, because you don’t have an account there. After the Federal Reserve refuses to pay, you’ll be notified that you still owe the money – which is about when you might figure out that this was a scam. At that point, you may owe a late fee or penalty to the company you thought you were paying. You also may owe fees to your bank for returned or rejected payments.

Maybe it's a scam but the proof behind it all, the amount of research and shared history put in the posts by some of these guys. Ambition and drive. Its pretty good for a banking history lesson as well at times. I guess it's like the lottery, the odds are against you but every once in a while it brings you back to childhood with that feeling of excitement and a little bit of hope. The original founders have never asked for a dime nor any of your info. Now be careful, there are people out there jumping on the ride hustling a scam of sort, The whole thing is not about money, It's just about truth and what all is going on in our lifetime. Better news than what's broadcasts as news on Television. Some of the people are entertaining dumb and conspiracy theory minded. But there are a few that are very intelligent, and we'll as my dad would say "Think before they speak". Well thanks for reading, Bored on the couch.

Some comments here are talking about other scams, irrelevant.. In this scam you don't win or get grant, it's your money

OK, I'm going even more "off topic" as you say by replying to your comment, but . . .

Here are my observations as a result of reading FTC blogs for a couple years (every one of them and commenting):

The FTC moderators seems to be fairly forgiving on rule one pertaining to stay on topic, as long as it involves SCAMS.
I am thankful for this, as I think many commentators have important experiences to share that THEY FEEL is related to the FTC's post.
There are off shoot threads like this, with Q & As or comments and answers. These are also important to the consumer experience on this site. I get just as much value from the public's comments/experiences as I do from the FTC's original post.
And finally please note: the FTC moderator posted your “off topic” comment, ha ha ha.

How much is the Federal Reserve paying you to report this such a way shame on you


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