A Stroke of the Keyboard and Click of the Mouse: An Anatomy of Cyber Frauds as a Growing Component of Illicit Financial Flows
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way that we live and work. It has foisted a new normal on the entire world. To foster social/physical distancing, in an effort to curtail the spread of the virulent virus, more individuals and businesses are leveraging the virtual space for their day-to-day activities – in terms of communication, shopping, banking, commerce, learning, conferencing, etc, as health workers strive to save lives. Amid the growing difficulties and uncertainties, cyber fraudsters have intensified their online schemes aimed at defrauding vulnerable victims of their hard earned monies.
In the United Kingdom the National Fraud and Cyber Security Center reported a 400% spike in cybercrimes in March. Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Center, had warned that “fraudsters [are] using the COVID-19 pandemic to scam people…[by] sending emails offering fake medical support and targeting people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home.” In the United States Tonya Ugoretz, Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], noted the rise in cybersecurity complaints to the Internet Crime Complain Center (IC3) from an average of 1,000 to 3,000-4,000 daily.
 Action Fraud, Coronavirus-related fraud increase by 400% in March, March 20 2020, https://www.mkfm.com/news/local-news/coronavirus-related-scams-increase-by-400-in-march-says-actionfraud/
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