As the industry and consumers are adjusting to a new normal after the global spread of COVID-19, fraudsters are changing their schemes to prey on the heightened anxieties that people are experiencing during these uncertain times. In this blog post, we’ll be revisiting four fraud trends that are impacting consumers and financial institutions. None of these schemes are particularly complex, but, as criminals often do, they are fine-tuning their tactics to capitalize on the fear and compassion that people are experiencing during the pandemic. For each of these schemes, we’ll explain the methods criminals are using to execute the frauds; the risk these frauds represent to your institution and your account holders; the channels through which the schemes are being perpetrated; and the methods you can use to help mitigate the risks of these scams.
The first trend we’ll discuss are imposter scams. Imposter scams involve criminals contacting consumers and attempting to obtain personal and banking information by impersonating agencies that are associated with COVID-19 or the U.S. government. These include, but are not limited to, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Internal Revenue Service, and other agencies. The risk associated with these types of scams is the exposure of data that could be used by cyber criminals to move money or obtain sensitive personal data such as Social Security numbers and bank account information.
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