24 scammers arrested on money laundering charges

Government officials have arrested over 24 money laundering suspects due to an online fraud operation worth $30 billion. Businesses and individuals are reported to have lost funds through numerous means such as, business email compromise (BEC), romance fraud, and retirement scams, etc.

The accused laundered funds from various schemes via bank accounts across the globe. They created fake companies and used forged identities to open bank accounts, before transferring money, quickly deserting them and finally distributing the money among the other defendants. 

Afeez Olaide Adeniran, of Atlanta, and Blessing Ojo, of Nigeria, are also accused of wire fraud. Adeniran is charged for defrauding a homebuyer of $40,000 intended for a real estate purchase, while Ojo is said to have masterminded a fake invoicing scam that duped a Californian media company into wiring $646,840 to a bank account controlled by one of the defendants.

A further 17 individuals are awaiting charges of bank fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and plotting to carry out these offenses from a federal court in Atlanta. 

The incident depicts how intense online fraud has become today. BEC fraudsters made almost $1.8 billion in 2019, over half of the $3.5 billion total cybercrime losses reported to the FBI, as per a recent report. Confidence and romance scams were in second place, amounting to $475 million. 

Byung Pak, US Attorney stated, “Fraud schemes, like the ones perpetrated and facilitated by these defendants, inflict considerable losses on citizens, companies and the financial system.” Furthermore, “Some of these schemes target the elderly and often deplete the victims’ entire life savings. These arrests affirm the Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens.”

Philippines anti-money laundering council demands strict POGO regulations

The Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has advised of an “increasing level of threat to money laundering and other fraudulent activities” in the country’s online gaming industry due to unregulated and unsupervised service providers. 

The AMLC highlighted a range of problems with the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry, essentially around the part played by service providers (SPs). There are currently 59 POGOs licenses under which 218 Service Providers are operating various online gaming sites. 

The AMLC faced a number of problems while conducting onsite compliance monitoring of the POGO industry, namely the shortage of agents and authorized representatives in the Philippines in spite of regulations requiring the presence of a local agent who’s responsibilities include the completion of the documentary requirements during application for gaming operations.

The AMLC also stated that it could not locate the compliance representatives of any POGOs at the given addresses, with service providers aloof of their presence. The POGOs it visited lacked anti-money laundering (AML) or counter-terrorism financing (CTF) compliance units. 

“There is a low level of AML/CTF awareness and regulation,” the AMLC said.

“Generally, POGOs and IGLs are a lesser threat compared to their SPs. PAGCOR and AMLC jointly supervise POGOs on AML/CTF matters, thus POGOs are subject to the obligations under the AMLA, as amended. SPs, on the other hand, are merely accredited and not licensed by PAGCOR.”

Regarding the issue of service providers, the council commented, “a huge number of unsupervised and unregulated service providers exist. As not all SPs are within the realm of AML/CTF supervision, they are prone to abuse and exploitation by criminal organizations.”

“In 2019, local authorities shut down around 200 Internet-based casinos and SPs, illegally servicing online gaming operations. In the same year, the local government also ceased the operations of one of the largest SPs for Internet-based casinos. The said SP was allegedly linked to an individual and entity subject of an AML investigation in relation to the Bangladesh Bank heist,” stated AMLC. 

Furthermore, “Because the use of gaming accounts is not closely regulated by POGOs, the level of anonymity is high. Thus, accounts may be used for money laundering and fraudulent activities.”

In response, the Council has called for a “collective mitigation strategy with concrete actions” to be applicable to service providers, including increased AML/CTF monitoring, better management of both POGOs and service providers, reassessment of POGO licenses and closer collaboration between enforcement agencies.

According to AMLC, “The study serves as a tool to inform stakeholders on the risks to money laundering of Internet-based casinos and to guide decision-makers in crafting policy initiatives,”

Shufti Pro will provide 10 million free ID and face verifications

Shufti Pro has launched one of a kind charity program for the non-profit and healthcare organizations fighting to contain COVID-19. It will provide free 10 million free ID and face verifications to qualified organizations for two months. The organizations willing to utilize the free AI-based identity verification services of Shufti Pro will just have to fill an apply now form.

Organizations all over the world helping in containing COVID-19 qualify for this free service. For example, hospitals, non-profit organizations, research centers, banks, educational institutions, airports, etc. are qualify for this program. Even if your organization is not listed here, but you’re helping in containing COVID-19 you can apply for the free ID verification services.  

Willing organizations will submit the apply now form and the received applications will be reviewed by the team. Qualified organizations will be provided with selected free services for two months. The number of verifications provided to each organization will vary based on their need. 

The integration process will be quite easy and seamless making it easy for the organizations to adopt the new process of online identity verification of people. The process of ID verification and face verification is designed keeping in view the diverse end-users who would verify themselves. 

The organizations utilizing these services wouldn’t have to educate their end-users regarding the process of verification. The people verifying themselves will have to upload a selfie and a photo of their ID card. Shufti Pro will verify them within seconds, and display the results in real-time. People wouldn’t have to touch anything and touchless biometric authentications will be performed providing 98.67% accurate results. 

Shufti Pro is providing these services to play its part in the fight against COVID-19. 

Roll-out of vital banking fraud check postponed again due to Coronavirus

A crucial banking security check that could avert the loss of millions of pounds to internet fraud has been delayed once again, this time due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, banks have now been given time until June 30 to implement Confirmation of Payee (COP), which cross matches the name of recipients with their account number. Banks have been ignoring these details in the past, only focusing on the account number and sort code. Although the significance of KYC and AML compliance in banking is undeniable. 

Upon introduction, the system will block payments to fraudsters and scammers who impersonate themselves as builders or solicitors. Some banks including Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland have successfully introduced the Confirmation of Payee. While others, including Santander, will take until June to be ready.

Metro Bank, on the other hand, claims that the system is too complicated and the bank will not implement it at all. A Metro spokesman says: ‘We have no current plans to implement Confirmation of Payee, however, this is something we will continue to keep under review for the future.’

Russian govt introduces Fintech Sandboxes, including Blockchain

The Russian government plans on the creation of regulatory sandboxes for companies working on contemporary technologies like artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin introduced the bill on March 17. The plan does not directly talk about blockchain or cryptocurrencies, but an explanatory note describes distributed ledger as one of the technologies that could be explored in the recent “experimental regulatory regimes.”

Such rules are initiated to test the technologies in many different sectors including medicine, transportation, distant learning, financial markets, online commerce. The document states that the bill provides Russia’s regulators with the ability to deal with unconventional technology in a better way. Furthermore, some of the country’s regions would be able to set up their own local sandboxes as well.

The Fintech related sandboxes will be supervised by the Bank of Russia and the Central Bank. Fintech projects functioning within sandboxes would be subject to lighter regulations regarding cash reserves, financial reporting, and foreign currency controls, as reported by the Representatives of the Economic Development Ministry.

The bill should already have been passed as part of the government’s program on developing the digital economy in Russia but there were concerns that such a law would distort the power balance in favor of the executive branch to a large extent, according to Olga Shepeleva, a senior expert at the Center for Strategic Research.

She stated, “The main idea is that the government can choose to make temporary exceptions from laws and regulations for the sandboxes.” The Bank of Russia has already been operating a regulatory sandbox for fintech projects and has even tested a blockchain-based tokenization pilot with the assistance of the mining and smelting company, Nornickel.

However, the central bank’s sandbox only assists in framing the possible uses of the new technologies, but does not permit businesses with the ability to test their use cases on real clients; neither does it provide the means for expert and public control over such experiments. Shepeleva further explained that the new bill will allow the creation of sandboxes in which real businesses will be working with real customers.

Russia’s central bank has persistently sustained a skeptical attitude towards cryptocurrencies and has recently announced that it is involved in drafting an act that will obstruct the crypto markets from functioning in the country, though ownership would likely be tolerated. Mikhail Komin, research director at the Center for Advanced Governance in Moscow stated, “For sure, the [coronavirus] pandemic and the financial crisis makes the government look for unorthodox solutions, but crypto is not a part of that.”

“The Bank of Russia is interested in lowering uncertainty in the financial and foreign currency markets caused by the volatility of the Russian ruble, and it believes cryptocurrencies would add even more uncertainty,” Komin said. “The Bank of Russia’s position remains winning one in this argument.”

G-20 impels countries to adopt tough FATF Regulations on Cryptocurrencies

Bankers and finance ministers in the G-20 (Group of Twenty) are urging for greater acceptance of measures that pressurize cryptocurrency exchanges to disclose user information. 

Jason Sibley mentioned this in a tweet:

Following a summit in Riyadh last week, countries that are uncompliant of the Financial Action Task Force’s crypto guidelines were urged to strictly adhere to the regulations. “We urge countries to implement the recently adopted Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on virtual assets and related providers,” reads a joint-communique published after the summit. 

FATF’s travel rule, which was finalized in the summer, requires virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including exchanges and wallet providers, to exchange user information with one another every time funds are transferred. This is to avert fraudsters and money launderers that use the virtual currency to by-pass existing controls and penalties. Last year G-20 reclaimed that it would comply with the new regulations. 

FATF’s guidelines are un-irrevocable and give the administration some room to incorporate the new standards into the local law. But countries that deliberately fail to adopt guidelines are blacklisted, potentially inhibiting them from global trade and foreign investment. 

Many of FATF’s 36 member-states, which include G-20 economies, have already embraced the new travel rule. The EU’s fifth anti-money laundering directive (5AMLD), which requires exchanges to register with local regulators and show compliance, came into force at the beginning of the year.  

Realizing the need for an efficient global remittance system, G-20 ministers at the weekend restated from October calling on countries to conduct more research and risk-assessment into global stable coins or GSCs before they enter mainstream circulation.

The communique also appealed to the local authorities to help the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which monitors the vulnerability of the global financial system, in drawing up new suggestions for the global regulation of virtual currencies. 

UK’s financial system claims to survive Coronavirus hit

Britain’s banks inform investors that they are optimistic that their balance sheets are strong enough to hold out against the Coronavirus hit. According to the Senior Bank Executives, the health of Britain’s financial system is in a good state and the supporting measures introduced by the Bank of England over the past two weeks give them greater confidence.

Marshall Group tweeted regarding the event:

The CEO of Lloyds Bank, António Horta-Osório, was one of the senior executives tried to address the concerns of investors at the Morgan Stanley European financial services conference in London. He stated, “I am absolutely confident we are going to see a massive government and regulatory response that has to be taken into consideration.” The government announced a new £330bn emergency rescue package for UK business, hours after his address.

The main concern for bankers is customers in financial distress, the inflow of the demand for funding, and the difficulties of maintaining services. The most evident of strain is found in frontline customer-facing roles where it is tougher for staff to work from home. The amount of requests for funding from business customers has increased to up to three times and is expected to further escalate in the next few weeks.

Despite being optimistic about surviving the on-going crisis, banks predict a significant short-term pain ahead. Hundreds of millions of pounds worth annual profits of each bank will be brought down due to the Bank of England’s rate cut. Greater harm will be inflicted to the bottom lines, as the crisis intensifies, leading to an increased rate of loan default. 

In spite of these barriers, however, the steps announced by the Treasury and the Bank of England are largely anticipated to shield the sector from the worst possible outcome. 

“We’re in a very strong position going into this scenario,” stated Alison Rose, Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive. She plans on ramping up cost-cutting plans to offset some of the impacts of the Bank of England’s emergency interest rate cut.

Swedbank cuts former CEO’s Golden Parachute over Money-Laundering

STOCKHOLM – Swedbank has canceled the severance pay of former CEO, Birgitte Bonnesen after she was unsuccessful in addressing deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering (AML) checks during her charge. 

The share price of Sweden’s oldest bank lost a third of its value after the surfacing of money-laundering that led to the dismissal of Bonnesen and other members of the board. Last week, the Financial Supervisory Authority fined the bank a record 4 billion crowns ($385 million) over the breaches. 

Swedbank said on Monday, “Given the information in the investigations conducted by the Swedish and Estonian financial supervisory authorities and… law firm Clifford Chance, the board of Swedbank has decided to unilaterally cancel the agreement of severance pay to the bank’s previous CEO Birgitte Bonnesen.” Bonnesen’s lawyer refused to comment in response to Swedbank’s statement. 

Despite the fine imposed, the bank will pay a shareholder payout of 8.80 Swedish crowns per share for 2019, according to Swedbank Chairman, Goran Perrson. He further added that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the bank’s annual meeting will be postponed. 

According to the Clifford Chance report, Swedbank’s subsidiaries in Latvia and Estonia actively chased high-risk clients, some of whom had been rejected by another bank. Persson stated, “Clifford Chance’s report confirms the bank’s failure. In its anti-money laundering work, the bank has not measured up to the requirements that customers, owners, and society are entitled to set,”

At the beginning of last year, Bonnesen declined that the bank was involved in the money-laundering scandal emerging in the Baltic region and which also overtook Danish rival, Danske Bank. Nevertheless, it was expelled in March, only about an hour before Swedbank’s annual meeting, as investors lost faith in her handling of the crisis.

According to the Swedish media, Bonnesen’s severance pay is about 20 million crowns ($1.9 million). However, Swedbank has not yet confirmed the sums involved. Bonnesen, who served as CEO for about three years, headed-up the bank’s Baltic business between 2011 and 2014.

Canadian financial watchdog geared up for FATF compliance

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) plans on closely regulating crypto companies, transactions and activities after new rules are implemented on June 1, as per a departmental report this month. 

CoinDesk also mentioned this in a tweet:

According to the agency, the execution of regulations emerging from new legislative change will be a top priority for FINTRAC. It further stated that this amendment to Canada’s existing criminal finance framework is expected to produce an improved AML/ATF Regime. FINTRAC is the Canadian counterpart to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States. 

According to the new regulations, companies with $10,000 CAD in crypto activity are registered as a money services business. Companies are also required to record sender and receivers’ names, addresses, birth dates, contact numbers and virtual currency types for transactions over $1,000 CAD in some cases. More extensive documentation requirements apply to transactions of $10,000 CAD and above.

Violations are largely categorized as “minor” infringements under the new amendments. The amendments were in response to FATF’s intense 2015-2016 assessment of Canada’s cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism frameworks which were regarded as “deficient.” Canada is expected to comply with certain regulations, as a member of the FATF. 

FINTRAC implied to this expectation in its recent report, stating “the overall legislative and policy framework must serve Canada’s interests while staying attuned to international expectations.”

Other countries, and exchanges, are also working rapidly to get in line before FATF’s June deadline. 

Customers warned of scams by the UK banking lobby amid COVID-19

Banking customers should be aware of fraudsters who are exploiting the COVID-19 epidemic to carry out fraud, according to Financial Times. In 2019, Britons were defrauded £456 million in bank transfer scams. 

This was driven by scammers who were exploiting digital platforms to swindle their victims. However, in accordance with the industry’s voluntary reimbursement code (2019), victims were provided £41m in compensation for the cases evaluated. 

The financial sector was successful in impeding more than £1.8 billion worth of fraud attempts in the year. Customers are urged to follow the guidance of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to prevent scams seeking to exploit concerns over the coronavirus epidemic.

Customers are impelled to stop before making any transfer, and “rejecting, refusing, or ignoring any requests” that appear dubious.

First Canadian bank introduces digital ID verification

Digital Identity is progressing in Canada, with a new bank account opening process backed by digital ID documents, biometrics, and a new digital identity mobile application for residents of the most crowded Canadian province, Ontario.

Biometric Update tweeted:

RBC is the first Canadian bank to offer digital identity authentication services to customers opening a personal account in a branch for secure identity verification, fraud prevention, and smooth customer onboarding experience by scanning IDs or passports.

Peter Tilton, SVP, Digital at RBC stated, “As we make our clients’ everyday banking experience easier, we continue to be guided by the imperatives of trust and security. Verifying and protecting our clients’ identities is among the most important things we do,” He added, “The world-class technology underpinning these features will better protect clients from fraud caused by identity and document forgery and give them an unparalleled account opening experience.”

The RBC Mobile Application uses Artificial Intelligence technology to inspect government-based identification documents such as ID cards, driver’s licenses and passports, and Near-Field Communications (NFC) for analyzing ePassport use.

After the identity document is scanned through the mobile application, the customer data is registered in their account profile on an advisor’s computer, but RBC reassures customers that the information is used and protected in line with its strategy to guard personal information.

“Until now, our architecture limited our ability to quickly deliver the solutions our clients and advisors want,” continued Tilton. “A single digital platform gives us immense flexibility to reuse core capabilities that extend across the bank and design solutions with our clients and advisors in mind from the start. This means clients will enjoy a more consistent experience with RBC across our delivery channels.”

In the future, RBC plans on introducing a mobile account opening feature with live biometric selfies to verify identity against the identification documents on file. Since the introduction of advanced technologies for customer onboarding, RBC says it has increased the efficiency of the process to up to 70 percent because customers no longer waste time with data entry and document verification.

“We’ve spent the last two months piloting this in nearly 50 branches and the reaction from clients and advisors has been outstanding,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, EVP, Cards, Payments & Banking at RBC, in a prepared statement. “We are adding to the existing suite of digital identity solutions developed by the banking industry by providing clients with another option for securely verifying their identity with us.”

The new features are supported on both iOS and Android devices. They allow clients to have more control over their personal information and prevent them from disclosing more personal information than required. This option is already available in 100 branches in Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec, but it will expand to more branches, channels, and partners this year. The processes are in line with Canada’s Know Your Client (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and privacy regulations.

Banks take measures to serve customers amid COVID-19

The banking industry is stepping up to serve customers as well as their employees as the Coronavirus pandemic puts instance pressure on customers, as millions of Americans are restricted to remain in their homes, and businesses are facing huge losses. A number of banks have started doing their part in this time of need.

Mobile Payments mentioned this in a tweet on 18th March, 2020:

Berkshire Bank in Boston has increased the daily spending limits for customers and penalties for early withdrawal have also been waived from Certificates of Deposits. Bank officials reported that clients have been seeking extra flexibility and coming into the bank with concerns that they might have to spend a greater period of time at home.

Tami Gunsch, Senior Executive Vice President & Director of Relationship Banking stated, “We did experience an increase in customer traffic into our branch locations late last week to ensure they had money on hand in case they were not able to visit a bank for a few weeks due to impact related to the Coronavirus. He added, “This gave us an opportunity to connect with customers and provide information on the various ways they can conduct their everyday banking without reliance on a branch location and in a way that promotes social distancing.”

Similarly, BBVA USA is offering penalty-free withdrawals from Certificates of Deposits, reimbursing ATM fees, and deferrals, extensions, and waivers on loans and lines of credit to its clients. Javier Rodriguez Soler, BBVA USA President announced in a press release, “We understand that this pandemic has put many of our customers in a position of uncertainty, and we are working to take some of that burden off of them,” Furthermore, “We know that this is a fluid situation and we will closely monitor any developments that could continue to negatively impact customers across our entire footprint.”

Webster Bank in Connecticut has also started offering various improvements in services to help small businesses and consumers. John Cuilla, President and CEO of Webster Bank said, “We recognize the emergence of COVID-19 and the dramatic steps we must all take to curtail its spread, will create financial and other challenges for our customers and communities,” He added, “Consistent with our long history of supporting our customers in times of need, Webster is committed to providing the financial flexibility to the individuals, small businesses and corporations we serve.”
Webster is offering the following options to customers:

  • Increased spending limits on debit cards.
  • Penalty waivers for early CD withdrawals up to $25,000.
  • Increased remote deposit limits.
  • Payment deferral options on mortgages, home equity or personal and
  • small business loans, based on the requirement.

Americans ‘work from home’ strategy present new targets for hackers

Coronavirus outbreak has forced organizations to let their employees work from home during the outbreak. A new wave of cyberattacks targeting such employees is emerging, warns the experts.

After scammers, now hackers are exploiting the virus outbreak to prey on employees who are working from home. The evidence reports that working outside the office environment is not secure since it opens more doors to cyber vulnerabilities.

While giving a statement to ‘The Hill’ last Friday, the presidential cybersecurity commission server, Tom Kellermann said,

“There are nation-states that are actively taking advantage of the situation, particularly our Cold War adversaries, and we need to be keenly aware that they are aware of the lack of security that is presented by everyone telecommuting”

Reckoning the opinion of Kellermann, the department of Homeland security’s cyber agency – CISA – issued the statement on Friday highlighting the cyber threats associated with working from home as compared to the office. CISA pointed out the potential vulnerability around virtual private networks (VPNs).

Employees working from home are remotely accessing the organization’s file through VPN, which is paving roads for hackers to get into the network and exploit the files and data shared on the network.

In their statement, CISA wrote

“As organizations use VPNs for telework, more vulnerabilities are being found and targeted by malicious cyber actors. Update VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices being used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations.”

Moreover, the agency highlighted that cybercriminals may increase phishing email attacks to steal employees’ credentials. Such emails may use corona fear to tempt users into opening emails and performing certain activities; downloading viruses.

Checkpoint stated that since January more than 4,000 coronavirus-themed websites domains have been introduced; some with the intention of running email campaigns to lure victims into clicking malicious links.

With the agencies indicating the vulnerabilities, Kellermann has recommended individuals to use separate and private networks to do their work and isolate the data to keep it secure from intruders.

Australia introduces new rules to tackle mobile identity theft

Australia introduces new rules to tackle mobile identity theft

Acma (Australian Communications and Media Authority) has introduced a new regulation to fight identity fraud, according to which users who want to change their mobile network while keeping the same number will have to verify that the number they plan to port belongs to them. 

Guardian news tweeted regarding the event:

It is normal for users to verify their identities through their mobile phones via two-factor authentication, especially on digital platforms. Nevertheless, it is still not considered a strong method of ID verification, since people can easily get hold of someone’s mobile number through number porting. 

In Australia, there are no checks involved when a change of mobile number is requested by a customer, apart from basic identity checks. Under the new regulation introduced by Acma on Friday, mobile companies will now have to verify identities in a number of ways. It can be done by a unique code sent through SMS or email to confirm the number that has requested the port or at a retail store by the sales representative calling the number with the person in the store to establish the identity of the owner. 

Fiona Cameron, the Acma Authority member, stated: “This new standard is a strong step forward in the battle against criminals who scam mobile phone users and will significantly reduce the prevalence of mobile fraud,” Teresa Corbin, the Chief Executive of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, appreciated the new regulation but expressed that SMS was not a secure method of two-factor authentication. 

“We’d like to see the Acma require telcos to use highly secure forms of verification, such as hardware or software authentication tokens, which are generated with a mobile app,” she said. “We’ve already seen some government services adopt this approach through the development of the myGov code generator app.”

The new rule will be effectuated by the end of April, and in the case of non-compliance, telecommunication companies will face fines of up to $250,000. Paul Fletcher, the Federal Communications Minister, said that some mobile service providers had already started following the new rule and he expects every provider to be compliant by the end of next month.

The United Kingdom implements new Anti-Money Laundering regulations

The United Kingdom implements new Anti-Money Laundering regulations

The United Kingdom’s finance and economics department has announced the incorporation of new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. The extra measures would diminish the chances of money laundering and other crypto-related crimes, according to the UK Finance and Economics Department. In a speech on March 6, the Director of Retail and Regulatory Investigations, Therese Chambers, stated that the new Money Laundering Regulations places the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as the Anti-Money Laundering supervisor for some crypto aims. 

Storm-7 Consulting tweeted regarding the news:

She further stated that the new regulations go beyond the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and encompass a wider set of activities, including initial coin offerings or ICOs, as advised by FATF the last year. The 5AMLD was implemented by the European Union last Summers and it was effectuated in January 2020.

According to Chambers, virtual currencies allow anonymous financial transfers. The FCA’s regulatory supervision mainly aims towards business dealings within the virtual space. The new regulations concern crypto exchanges that extend fiat pairings and deal in crypto pairings as well. Wallet service providers are also included. According to Pawel Kuskowski, the CEO of Coinfirm, the new regulations indicated that crypto can no longer be closed by banks. 

FCA risk assessment, customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, record-keeping as well as suspicious activity reporting are some of the things that crypto firms should possess to conduct business. Many Crypto firms have started evacuating the United Kingdom and European Union due to their ongoing stringent regulations.

The EU passed new Anti-Money Laundering regulations in July 2018, called the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD). The 5AMLD regulations caused various crypto exchanges to leave UK and EU related countries. Two Crypto platforms, Simplecoin and Chopcoin, have closed down their services due to 5AMLD.

Simplecoin indicated that these requirements are against the fundamental motives of cryptocurrencies, such as privacy and decentralization.

Coronavirus outbreak exploited by internet scammers

Coronavirus outbreak exploited by internet scammers

Americans are advised to stay watchful of cybercriminals’ attempts to misuse the life-threatening Coronavirus epidemic by the U.S. Secret Service. According to the agency, internet fraudsters are taking advantage of the terror caused by the unconventional Coronavirus, COVID-19, including the goodwill of individuals towards helping the affectees.

The U.S. Secret Service, in a press release, stated, “Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event can become an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different,”

One type of internet scam involved a large number of scam emails containing malicious attachments that purposely damage the computers of individuals that open them. Another type involves cybercriminals asking for donations on social media platforms for fake causes supposedly involving Coronavirus.

It was also noted that since the outbreak, a substantial number of people have started working from home, which has further increased their dependence on the internet for communication. 

The U.S. Secret Service advised that the recipients of emails involving the COVID-19 should keep themselves from attachments or links present in the messages from senders they are unaware of. It is emphasized that individuals should practice enhanced vigilance and care when considering donating to charitable organizations.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 109,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally since the disease was discovered in December. As of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have placed the number of domestic infections at 423 and counting.

More posts