City of LaGrange Warns Residents of Scam

Published 12:43 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

The city of LaGrange is warning residents about a potential identity theft scam.

According to a press release, the city’s utility department has received more than 100 payments since July 27 from a Federal Reserve number that is invalid.

Investigators with the LaGrange Police Department researched the large amount of unpaid bills associated with the Federal Reserve number and discovered what appears to be a scam. Residents are being told they can pay their bills with a Federal Reserve account that belongs to them and was set up by the federal government.

“You can’t pay your bills using a Federal Reserve number,” said Det. Andrea Scott with the LaGrange Police Department. “We want people to make sure you confirm the organization is credible before giving out your personal information.”

According to police, some residents reported calling a 1-800 number, where the suspect will ask for a victim’s social security number. The person will act like they are looking up their account in the computer and will give the caller a routing number they say belongs to their own personal Federal Reserve account. The victims are told they can pay utility bills and other household bills using this routing number with their social security number as the account number.

“Once they have your information and identity, they can do anything they want with it, like apply for a loan or credit card,” Scott said.

The routing number is a Federal Reserve number, but it will not pay the utility bill. The information is not accepted by the utility department and the victim gets charged a return fee of at least $25. The victim still owes the utility bill, plus the fee.

The Federal Reserve has a link to more information on this scam on their website.