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FinCEN Warns of Surging Check Fraud
On February 28, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury (FinCEN) issued an alert warning financial institutions to be vigilant in identifying and reporting check fraud schemes targeting the U.S. Mail. The alert was prompted by a nationwide surge in such activity. In 2021, FinCEN saw a 23% increase in the number of check fraud-related Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). This upward trend continued in 2022, when the number of SARs related to check fraud nearly doubled.
This type of fraud generally pertains to the negotiation of checks stolen from the U.S. Mail. According to FinCEN, fraud, including check fraud, is the largest source of illicit proceeds in the United States. Fraud is also one of the priorities in combating the financing of terrorism.