By Andrew Brandt
Coming on the heels of similar fraud schemes that targeted victims using the names of such familiar institutions as the FDIC, IRS, and HMRC, scammers are trying to get people to infect their own computer using a different organization’s name—one that is probably unfamiliar to most people. NACHA is a not-for-profit association that “oversees the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, a safe, efficient, green, and high-quality payment system.” In other words, they write the rules for the organizations that run the pipes through which money flows between banks and businesses–the circulatory system of the financial world.
In fact, more than 15,000 banks passed 18 billion electronic transactions through the ACH in 2008 alone. ACH is a linchpin in the world’s financial system. But as a rule-making body, NACHA also typically acts behind the scenes, which is why most people who don’t work in the financial services industry probably have never heard of them.
That said, when the world’s largest clearinghouse for transfers of funds between banks supposedly sends you an email like this one, you probably would perk up and pay attention:
The email’s dire warning: “The ACH transaction, recently initiated from your bank account, was rejected by the Electronic Payments Association.”
But it’s a scam, as you probably already guessed.