Federal Reserve warns against Internet ‘scranks’

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell an Internet scam from something that is merely a prank. This is one of those times.

But whatever this is, it has the Federal Reserve baffled and worried.

I’ll start from the beginning of this “scrank” — a combination of the words scam and prank.

Some time ago, someone using the name “Harvey Dent” — which seems to also be the name of a Batman villain — posted a YouTube video telling people that they can use their Social Security numbers to pay any of their bills, such as phone, cable, mortgage and electric, through the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund.

“Dent” claimed that every American had a secret bank account at the Fed that could be tapped for these purposes.

Apparently, people did try to pay the “Dent” way and, of course, were unsuccessful because there are no such secret bank accounts. And when the payments started piling up at the Federal Reserve’s regional banks — whose routing numbers were given out by Dent — the Fed got concerned.

This is all very complicated, but “Dent” apparently said it has something to do with “sovereign citizenship” and how countries were really like companies. His organization seems to be named “Government Services Corporation Watch” and it professed that “governments are actually corporations — the president/prime minister, its CEO.”

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