Global Fraud Footprint

2021 outlook for fighting fraud in Europe

Increased risks and pressure to do more with less

The pandemic is leading to increased fraud and criminals’ evolving tactics. Fraud examiners are facing budgetary and logistical constraints, and operational limitations. Here’s how these conditions could affect European anti-fraud efforts this year.

The ACFE Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19: Benchmarking Report, December 2020 Edition, said 79% of respondents have seen an increase in the overall level of fraud and 90% expect an increase in the next year.

Europol features these COVID-19 fraud scams on its website, among others:

  • Bogus websites featuring fake news about the virus or posing as charities to steal personally identifiable information or infect visitors with malware.
  • Fake apps claiming to display live information about the virus but will infect devices with malware or ransomware.
  • Fake investment opportunities related to products or services that can prevent, detect or cure the virus.

In an interview with Fraud Magazine, Natina Thalien, CFE, the global head of security for governance, risk and compliance at Ingenico Group — a fintech company in Paris involved in electronic payment processing — discussed cyberfraud related to the pandemic.

“Anyone who downloads COVID-19-related applications can also be tricked into downloading ransomware because it was disguised as a legitimate application,” Thalien says.

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