Advisory: Cybercrime Exploiting the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to alert financial institutions to potential indicators of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many illicit actors are engaged in fraudulent schemes that exploit vulnerabilities created by the pandemic.

This advisory contains descriptions of COVID-19-related malicious cyber activity and scams, associated financial red flag indicators, and information on reporting suspicious activity, and is intended to aid financial institutions in detecting, preventing, and reporting potential COVID19-related criminal activity. This advisory is based on FinCEN’s analysis of COVID-19-related information obtained from Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data, open source reporting, and law enforcement partners. FinCEN will continue issuing 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, which also contains information on how to register to receive FinCEN Updates.

Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Filing Request: FinCEN requests financial institutions reference this advisory in SAR field 2 (Filing Institution Note to FinCEN) and the narrative by including the following key term: “COVID19- CYBER FIN-2020-A005” and select SAR field 42 (Cyber Event). Additional guidance on filing SARs appears near the end of the advisory. 

Read the advisory here.

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