The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach and Education function engages, empowers and educates the Second District communities that the Bank serves, especially civic leaders, students, educators, small business owners, policymakers and the general public. It furthers the Bank's commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and leveraging our unique attributes to positively impact school and university programs, as well as analysis and research.
Fraudulent Work-at-Home Funds Transfer Agent Schemes Individuals are using deposit accounts to receive unauthorized electronic funds transfers and forward funds overseas to criminals. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is warning financial institutions of an increase in schemes to recruit individuals to receive and transmit unauthorized electronic funds transfers (EFTs) from deposit accounts to individuals overseas. These funds transfer agents, often referred to as "money mules," are typically solicited on the Internet by criminals who have gained unauthorized access to the online deposit account of a business or consumer. Criminals target online deposit accounts at institutions where business customers can originate EFTs, such as automated clearing house (ACH) and wire transfers, over the Internet. October 29, 2009
E-Mail-Based "Phishing" Schemes for Personal Financial Information In a bid to head off phony e-mails that may be sent in its name to investors asking for confidential financial information, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) cautioned investors that it does not use unsolicited e-mail or the Internet to obtain any brokerage account numbers or other data. SIPC maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms.
Nigerian Funds Placement Schemes A number of scams involve persons purporting to be high-ranking officials in the Nigerian government. These scam artists usually contact the unsuspecting victim via e-mail and request his assistance in keeping a large amount of government funds out of the hands of corrupt agents or entities.
The victim is then asked to supply his account number and is told that a large sum of cash will soon be deposited. In exchange, a portion of the deposit is promised to the victim as payment for the assistance. The victim is told that the entire transaction is legal and highly confidential. Neither is true.
Nigerian Black Money Scams The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is aware of a Nigerian advance fee scheme, commonly referred to as a black money scam. Nigerian advanced fee schemes usually involve the payment of fees, taxes or bribes to receive a percentage of funds to be moved out of Nigeria. In this variation, the scam artist tells the victim that it was necessary to dye the money black in order to smuggle it out of the country. The victim is then shown a suitcase or trunk containing currency-sized pieces of black paper. The victim is told that in order to clean the currency, it must be washed with special chemicals that will purportedly remove the dye without damaging it. The cost of the chemicals, however, is substantial and the victim is asked to provide payment for the purchase up front.
In order to prove the truthfulness of the circumstances, the scam artist offers to demonstrate the efficacy of the process with a small sample of the chemical. Accordingly, the victim is allowed to select some paper from the trunk. The paper is then cleaned with the chemical, revealing a Federal Reserve note. The demonstration is accomplished by slight of hand wherein the black paper is exchanged for a legitimate U.S. currency note that is covered with a substance easily removed by the cleaning solution.