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FinCEN Advisory on Cybercrime and Cyber-Enabled Crime Exploiting the COVID-19 Pandemic - 13 August 2020

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory on July 30, 2020, to alert financial institutions to potential indicators of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory contains descriptions of COVID-19-related malicious cyber activity and scams, associated financial red flag indicators, and information on reporting suspicious activity.

The advisory addresses the primary means by which cybercriminals and malicious state actors are increasingly exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic in cyber-enabled crime through malware and phishing schemes, extortion, business email compromise (BEC) fraud, and exploitation of remote applications, especially against financial and healthcare systems.

The advisory also reminds financial institutions that SAR reporting, in conjunction with effective implementation of due diligence requirements by financial institutions, is crucial to identifying and stopping financial crimes, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The advisory is based on FinCEN’s analysis of COVID-19-related information obtained from Bank Secrecy Act data, open source reporting, and law enforcement partners. FinCEN will issue COVID-19-related information to financial institutions to help enhance their efforts to detect, prevent, and report suspected illicit activity on its website at https://www.fincen.gov/coronavirus. The advisory itself can be found by clicking here.