skip to navigation
skip to content

Financial Outsourcing Solutions


FOS Blog

18 Mar

COVID-19 Related Scam Reporting – FinCEN Guidance

COVID-19 Related Scam Reporting – FinCEN Guidance

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidance on March 16th regarding the potential for malicious and fraudulent financial activity conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.  After monitoring public and BSA reports from the SEC, FTC, and FDA concerning illicit behavior, the following trends have already been reported:

  • Imposters posing as the CDC, WHO, or other healthcare organizations
  • Investment scams whereby potential victims are asked to invest in products and services designed to prevent, detect, or cure the virus
  • Fraudulent marketing of COVID-related supplies and products which have not been approved by the appropriate agency
  • Insider trading

FinCEN also issued guidance for disaster-related typologies in October 2017 and encouraged financial institutions to revisit that guidance also.

Maximize what is likely your institution’s main customer service platform during this unprecedented time to ensure customers are educated – your website.  As customers may be hesitant to leave their house, they may conduct more banking online and a prominent notice regarding FinCEN’s guidance could prevent financial loss to the customer and to the bank and could also save SAR filings later.  If your customer does fall victim to any COVID-related scams, enter “COVID-19” in Field 2 of the SAR template.  This will help FinCEN track ongoing trends in order to help institutions combat disaster-related fraud.

Check out FinCEN’s guidance today and update your website’s education center (if not the home page)! For additional information contact the author