The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently issued an advisory to banks that outlined fourteen red flag indicators to be on the lookout for (and report) related to pandemic related economic relief payments. Entitled “Advisory on Financial Crimes Targeting COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments,” FinCEN issued the advisory based on its “analysis of COVID-19-related information obtained from Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data, public reporting, and law enforcement partners.”

The types of fraud that have been detected include criminals sending fraudulent checks to potential victims, and then requesting personal information in order to cash them; altering checks and depositing them via ATMs or mobile devices; counterfeit checks; theft of economic relief payments from the U.S. mail; phishing schemes using economic relief as the subject matter; and seizure of economic relief payments inappropriately (wage garnishment or debt collection).

FinCEN outlines fourteen financial red flag indicators that include “fraudulent, altered, counterfeit, or stolen EIP checks, Automated Clearing House deposits and prepaid debit cards.”  The indicators can be accessed here.