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FinCEN Issues Advisory on Cybercrime and Cyber-Enabled Crime Exploiting the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 30th | 2020



The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently published an advisory focusing on cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory is intended to aid financial institutions in detecting, preventing, and reporting potential COVID-19-related criminal activity based on FinCEN’s analysis of COVID-19-related information obtained from Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data, open source reporting, and law enforcement partners.


The advisory list twenty red flags spanning the following categories:

  • Exploitation of remote platform and identity processes, where criminals exploit vulnerabilities in remote applications and virtual environments to steal sensitive information, compromise financial activity, and disrupt business operations;

  • Phishing, malware, and extortion scams appearing to come from legitimate sources; and

  • Business email compromise (BEC) schemes, where criminals insert themselves into communications by impersonating a critical player in a business relationship or transaction.

Financial firms should regularly visit FinCEN’s COVID-19 website to help enhance their efforts to detect, prevent, and report suspected illicit activity.

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