Financial institutions face increased challenges as COVID-19 fraud cases continue to rise

As the world adjusts to a new reality resulting from the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the financial behavior of consumers around the world is shifting. Financial institutions are seeing more and more of their customers turn to channels they otherwise would not use including larger cash withdrawals, cryptocurrency, and the switch to more online banking. But these changes in behavior pose an even larger threat to consumer safety as criminals seek to exploit the pandemic and carry out illegal activity. 

Emerging trends

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has advised financial institutions to remain alert about malicious or fraudulent transactions similar to those that occur in the wake of natural disasters. They’ve also identified several emerging trends of illicit activity including¹:

  • Imposter Scams – Bad actors attempt to solicit donations, steal personal information, or distribute malware by impersonating government agencies (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), international organizations (e.g., World Health Organization (WHO)), or healthcare organizations.
  • Investment Scams – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged investors to be wary of COVID-19-related investment scams, such as promotions that falsely claim that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus.
  • Product Scams – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued public statements and warning letters to companies selling unapproved or misbranded products that make false health claims pertaining to COVID-19. Additionally, FinCEN has received reports regarding fraudulent marketing of COVID-19-related supplies, such as certain face masks.
  • Insider Trading – FinCEN has received reports regarding suspected COVID-19-related insider trading. 

Adapting to new threats

With a 400% increase in coronavirus-related reports in March alone,² it’s now more important than ever for financial institutions to increase and adapt their processes to not only ensure the safety of their customers, but to preserve their financial integrity and reputation. Whether this means through adapting approaches to transaction monitoring or investing in additional resources, having the right tool to detect and investigate suspicious activity is essential. 

In times of panic and distress, financial institutions need to be flexible in how they adapt to emerging trends. With Linkurious Enterprise, you’re able to quickly navigate through complex connected data, create new alerts to identify suspicious activity, and uncover critical patterns that lead to faster investigations. 

Moving forward

We’ve learned that while situations such as these pose critical threats to people around the world, the focus is not only on the health of individuals, but on the need to safeguard everyone from criminals seeking to exploit such events. An investment today in a tool that will help meet these growing challenges, means that tomorrow, and everyday after that, consumers and companies will be protected from these malicious attacks. 

To find out more on how Linkurious Enterprise can help monitor and detect criminal activity, feel free to contact us


¹https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/financial-crimes-enforcement-network-fincen-encourages-financial-institutions

²https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports-increase-by-400-in-march