5 Top Myths and Facts about AI Implementation in AML Programs
We are more confirmed about the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform lives and businesses now. There are countless possible applications of AI and machine learning at present, and we see and hear exciting ways how these modern technologies are being use...
Exploring AML Risks in COVID-Era and the Ways to Address Them
The world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis it brought in is unprecedented in the history of humankind. While there are a number of pandemic-related factors contributing to the expected crisis with financial services, financial crimes pose a serious threat to their business. As criminals are taking advantage of the outbreak of the COVID-19, financial institutions are trying to address the heightened risk of money laundering. However, they require smarter solutions with better data processing power and faster deployment options to keep up with the change required. Compliance failures, though expected during a crisis like this, can be curtailed to a great extent with the use of the right technology. Modern technology...
AML Amid COVID-19: Watch out for These FBI-listed Fraud Schemes
There has been a rise in the number of cybercrimes and fraud schemes across the globe ever since the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Criminals, in general, are taking advantage of people’s scare, helplessness, and the need for immediate financial assistance and medical supplies among others. Financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing have a favourable situation to thrive at a time when a great number of working people across the globe are confined to their homes and are using digital means to complete their daily tasks.
Being one of the most affected countries from the pandemic, the US has become a victim of several scams and crimes related to COVID-19. In a recent interview, Steven Merrill, head of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section, discussed scams and crimes related to the pandemic. “Unfortunately, criminals are very opportunistic. They see a vulnerable population out there that they can prey upon. People are scared and looking for help. People are trying to protect themselves and their families,” Merrill said. He added that people who are looking for medical attention and medical equipment and people who may be unemployed and looking for work may be in an “extra level of desperation” right now, forcing them to make emotional decisions that could make them a victim.
Well-adapted fraud schemes
Here is the list of the most prevalent fraud schemes related to COVID-19, according to Merrill.
How Criminals Used COVID-19 Sales Pitch to Defraud, Launder Money
As the world is working hard to contain the spread of the COVID-19, criminals continue to take advantage of the pandemic. They are devising sophisticated methods to defraud people and launder the criminal proceeds using the financial system. The latest in the news is a sophisticated international fraud scheme using compromised emails, advance-payment fraud and money laundering. Involving financial institutions and authorities across Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK, the case was coordinated by the INTERPOL. Leading to the arrests of two people in the Netherlands, it sparked further investigations across Europe and more arrests expected in the coming days.
Unmasking the Scheme
According to a narrative by the INTERPOL, the criminals capitalized on the increasing demand for face masks as a large number of countries were going into lockdown in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak. Here’s what happened.
German health authorities, who were following new leads, contracted two sales companies in Zurich and Hamburg to procure EUR 15 million worth of face masks. They were unable to procure from usual business channels due to a global shortage of medical supplies.
To secure the deal, criminals created a fake company website that appeared to be linked to a legitimate company in Spain selling face masks. Using compromised legitimate email addresses, they started email correspondence claiming they have 10 million masks in stock.
When the delivery fell through, the criminals referred the buyers to ...
Money Laundering Amid COVID-19: What Regulators Across Globe Say
As the world continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reports that criminals are taking advantage of the difficult situation. They are seizing the moment to proliferate their criminal activities, earn undue profits and transfer of illegally earned money across borders, according to this report. “Organised crime groups are notoriously flexible and adaptable and their capacity to exploit this crisis means we need to be constantly vigilant and prepared,” says a Europol communique. Crimes such as human trafficking and corruption have a favourable situation to thrive. At the same time, criminals are adapting their most profitable cybercrime tactics to suit the situation, as a great number of working people across the globe ...
How will Art Cease to Be a Preferred Money Laundering Vehicle?
Money laundering via high-end art and antiquities is not new yet it is difficult to detect. Art-related money laundering amounts to about US$3 billion per year, according to this blog, quoting the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Criminals often use rare and...