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Covid has created "window of opportunity for fraudsters"

With this week being International Fraud Awareness Week (15-21 November) and 17,000 reports of investment fraud in the year (28% increase year-on-year), John Dobson, CEO of anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has the below comments:

“The instability created by crises such as the coronavirus are seen as a window of opportunity for fraudsters. We predicted at the beginning of lockdown that due to businesses being forced to operate virtually, fraudsters would look to pounce on this opportunity.

“However, operating remotely with automated process should be secure from fraud despite not being able to see a client face-to-face, as electronic ID checks are a more effective and efficient method. This pandemic should have resulted in less fraud and money-laundering as businesses should have shifted to a dynamic, automated anti-money laundering solution.

“With a vaccine on the horizon, there is the danger that firms might return to the office and go back to manual methods of ID checking. But with forgeries so sophisticated now, this is a risk not worth taking. To truly know your client an electronic verification simply requires your client’s a name and address, a date of birth is optional and in two seconds you will have an independent robust proof of identity.

“Businesses can be up and running with a full electronic AML platform in less than 48 hours, and it can deliver completely reliable ID verification and global sanctions and PEP screening in a matter of seconds.”

Published: 18 November 2020