Fraud Spotlight

Fed up

Federal Reserve investigators tackle scams

“Hello. This is John Wilson calling from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Grants Department. You have been selected to receive a $9,000 federal grant based on your clean criminal history and the fact that you have paid your taxes on time. To claim your grant is very simple. You will need to pay a $250 processing fee to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York …”

Would you have hung up? Sadly, many fall for this scam and are coerced out of hundreds — sometimes thousands — of dollars along with revealing personally identifiable information (PII). This scam isn’t new, and isn’t unique to the New York Fed.

What’s the New York Fed?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks, which together with the board of governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The U.S. Congress created the Fed, as the system is commonly called, in 1913 to serve as the U.S. central bank. It’s responsible for:

  • Formulating and executing monetary policy.
  • Supervising and regulating depository institutions.
  • Providing an elastic currency.
  • Assisting the federal government’s financing operations.
  • Serving as the banker for the U.S. government.

(See Overview of the Federal Reserve System.)

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