FinCEN Warns of COVID-19-Related Cyber Fraud  

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory alerting financial institutions to several types of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime connected to the coronavirus pandemic. These include:

  • Targeting and exploitation of remote platforms and processes, through which malicious actors target vulnerabilities in remote applications and virtual environments to steal sensitive information, compromise financial activity and disrupt business operations.
  • Phishing, malware and extortion campaigns that reference COVID-19 themes, such as CARES Act economic impact payments.
  • Business email compromise scams, particularly targeting municipalities and the healthcare industry supply chain, directing victims to redirect payments to new accounts citing pandemic-related changes in business operations.

FinCEN reminded institutions to report any suspicious activity by completing a Suspicious Activity Report according to their due diligence requirements. When filing a SAR for a COVID-19-related incident, FinCEN instructed banks to include the key term “COVID-19-CYBER FIN-2020-A005” in their filing instruction note to the agency.