The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory on COVID-19 related impostor scams and money mule schemes. The 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 also maintains a coronavirus updates homepage with the latest on pandemic-related scams.
Imposter scams: criminals impersonate organizations such as government agencies, non-profit groups, universities, or charities to offer fraudulent services or otherwise defraud victims. Some examples of red flag indicators of imposter scams include:
Money mule schemes: involve “a person who transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another.” Some examples of red flag indicators of money mule schemes include the following:
When reporting these schemes, FinCEN requests that financial institutions reference this advisory by including the key term “COVID19 MM FIN-2020-A003” in SAR field 2 (Filing Institution Note to FinCEN) and the narrative to indicate a connection between the suspicious activity being reported and the activities highlighted in this advisory.
Additional details can be found on CUNA’s CompBlog.