COVID-19 , Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

How Criminals Are Using PPE as a Money-Laundering Tool

Sizing Up Emerging Fraud Trends During the COVID-19 Crisis
Debra Geister, CEO, Section 2 Financial Intelligence Solutions

Money launderers are devising new tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, some are coming up with ways to use personal protective equipment, or PPE, as a form of currency, says Debra Geister, CEO of Section 2 Financial Intelligence Solutions.

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Until recently, fraudsters often laundered funds through restaurants, convenience stores and other cash-based businesses, Geister says. “Those are no longer as available and the revenues are greatly reduced in those streams,” she says in a video interview with Information Security Media Group. “We're seeing cryptocurrency becoming a much bigger factor in how these hybrid threat groups launder funds. We're also seeing PPE become kind of a new currency.”

In this interview, Geister also discusses:

  • The threats posed by organized criminal syndicates;
  • Alternative money-laundering schemes using cryptocurrencies and PPE and how to mitigate the risks;
  • The evolution of efforts to fight money laundering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geister, CEO of Section 2 Financial Intelligence Solutions, has 15 years of experience with banking compliance issues. Previously, she was the managing director at Matrix-International Financial Services and manager at Navigator Consulting Group. She also spent three years at MetaBank as senior vice president.

About the Author

Nick Holland

Nick Holland

Former Director, Banking and Payments

Holland focused on the intersection of digital banking, payments and security technologies. He has spoken at a variety of conferences and events, including Mobile World Congress, Money2020, Next Bank and SXSW, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, MSNBC, NPR, Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Time Magazine, The Economist and the Financial Times.

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