The Week Of: May 25, 2020

This week’s news and stories of interest to the AML community. If you prefer a news roundup plus other AML/KYC content sent to you, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Fraudsters in Nigeria are scamming the U.S. unemployment system

The Secret Service issued an alert last week to field offices around the United States about a sophisticated fraud scheme operating out of Nigeria that is targeting several state unemployment offices.

Known as Scattered Canary, the group is filing claims using stolen personal information that includes names, addresses, and social security numbers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in state unemployment and CARES Act payments have been lost.

Email security firm Agari says that the personal data may come not only from older data breaches but from a spike in payroll data theft in March and April. The known affected states are Washington, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Florida.

Read more at Ars Technica.

U.S. senators introduce bill to protect senior citizens from scams, fraud amid coronavirus

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced a bipartisan bill last Thursday that would protect senior citizens from scams during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill, titled The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act, “would direct the Federal Trade Commission to report to Congress on scams targeting seniors during the coronavirus pandemic and make recommendations on how to prevent future scams during emergencies.”

The bill also directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to update its website with information to help seniors and their caregivers to access contacts for law enforcement and adult protective agency. Under the legislation, the FTC would coordinate with the media to distribute the information in an effort to ensure seniors and their caregivers are informed.

Scams targeting seniors result in billions of dollars in financial losses each year. In 2019, 68,000 adults over age 60 lost more than $835 million in Internet scams alone, according to the FBI. With much of the pandemic-related fraud occurring digitally, seniors may be particularly susceptible.

Read more at Fox News.

FinCEN requests comment on SAR filing burdens

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) this week published in the Federal Register a 60-day notice to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control numbers assigned to the SAR reporting and regulatory requirements.

FinCEN is rethinking how it calculates the burden imposed on financial institutions for filing SAR forms. Previously it assigned one administrative burden hour to each of the SAR OMB control numbers. However, FinCEN recognized that SAR filers spend much more time on “monitoring systems, alert reviews, case reviews and documentation well before a decision is made to file a SAR.” It proposes to estimate the individual PRA burden and cost of different categories of SARs, grouped by the SARs’ estimated degree of complexity, according to the notice.

FinCEN also intends to add a supplemental annual PRA burden estimate that reflects the annual costs involved in determining whether an alert warranted a SAR filing and documenting the decision not to file a SAR.

Read more from the ABA Banking Journal blog. Read FinCEN’s notice here.