We have been receiving “R34 – Limited Participation DFI” ACH Returns for payments on electric bills. This is an ACH Return from the Federal Reserve, meaning someone is fraudulently trying to debit the Federal Reserve Bank.
In researching this further, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta issued an alert July 12, 2017:
Consumer Scam Alert: Do Not Use Federal Reserve Routing Account Numbers to Pay Bills; Could Face Late Fees, Other Charges
For immediate release: July 12, 2017
Recently, the Federal Reserve Banks have received a number of unauthorized transactions in which consumers have tried to use the Fed's routing numbers and their Social Security numbers to pay their bills.
It is important for consumers to know that when making online or e-check bill payments, they cannot use Federal Reserve routing numbers. Federal Reserve routing numbers are used for sorting and processing payments between banks. Any video, text, email, phone call, flyer, or website that describes how to pay bills using a Federal Reserve Bank routing number or using an account at the Federal Reserve Bank is a scam.
The Federal Reserve provides banking services only for banks. Individuals do not have accounts at the Federal Reserve.
The bill payments being attempted using the Fed's routing numbers are being rejected and returned unpaid. Consumers who have attempted to use the Fed's routing numbers to pay their bills may be subject to penalty fees from the company they were attempting to pay.
The release from the Federal Reserve Bank can be found here: