Financial Services Ireland


External fraud implications of Covid-19

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The recent abrupt changes in working practices arising from Covid-19 have heightened the risk of financial institutions to external fraud. Each institution needs to consider its new vulnerabilities to external fraud risks and determine whether existing controls are still fit for purpose.

Download our latest guidance on the heightened external fraud risks arising from Covid-19, the associated red flags and some potential implications which may be of relevance. We also discuss some immediate actions which firms can take now to mitigate risk.

Scams and fraud against firms’ customers

During these uncertain and unpredictable times, fraudsters will attempt to take advantage of the situation. As customers fall victim to fraud, they will look to their banks and insurers to cover their losses. Topical fraud includes:

  • Charities fraud: fraudulent charities target victims for donations. Such schemes can originate from social media, emails, websites, mailings, telephone calls and other similar methods.
  • Cyber fraud: malicious cyber actors will attempt to take advantage of public interest in topical news, such as local infection rates or changes to public services, to disseminate malware.
  • Invoice redirection fraud: businesses and commercial banking customers will be at increased risk as their operations adjust to cope with the impact of COVID-19 (for example, finance teams working remotely may be more susceptible to invoice redirection fraud). We have heard of several cases of this type of fraud involving global banks whose customers have lost more than £5m.

Look out for more EY Financial Services Covid-19 implication papers relating to these Financial Crime and Forensics topics:

You can also review our latest insights and thinking to support you in leading through these volatile times; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Julie Fenton

FS Partner, Fraud Investigations
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