Frauds and Scams

Consumer Information

Consumer Alert: Scam Involving Federal Reserve Routing Numbers

A scheme has been circulating on social media encouraging people to use Federal Reserve accounts or routing numbers to pay bills. It is a scam.

The Federal Reserve provides banking services only to banks, not individuals. There are no individual accounts in Federal Reserve Banks. Federal Reserve routing numbers are used solely for sorting and processing payments between banks.

If consumers  attempt to use Federal Reserve accounts or routing numbers to pay bills, the transactions will be rejected, leaving the consumers with bills unpaid and subject to late fees and other penalties from the companies they attempted to pay.

Be aware: Any video, email, phone call or other communication that purports to describe how to use Federal Reserve accounts or routing numbers to pay bills is a scam.


I received a suspicious-looking e-mail/text message/phone call that claims to be from the Federal Reserve. Is it a scam?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is aware of scams that involve fraudsters claiming to be from the Federal Reserve who are contacting the public through unsolicited phone calls, e-mails, or text messages. Individuals should be wary of any unsolicited message that claims to be from the Federal Reserve or references a Federal Reserve product or service. The Federal Reserve does not request personal financial information such as bank account numbers. Nor do Federal Reserve Banks provide grants to, or hold or administer funds for, individuals. Recipients should not click on any links or attachments contained in these types of e-mails and text messages and should delete them immediately.

In general, consumers should verify the legitimacy of potential service providers before providing personal financial information or entering into a business transaction. Consumers who suspect that their personal financial information has been compromised should contact their state attorney general or local law enforcement. To file a complaint about a suspected fraudulent e-mail, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Related Information

Federal Reserve’s Consumer Help Center

Selected Scams Involving the Federal Reserve Name

FTC's Scam Alerts