How Criminals Are Using PPE as a Money-Laundering Tool

COVID-19 , Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

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.

See Also: Beware the Other Virus

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.

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