U.S. Secret Service merges electronic and financial crimes task forces

A panel of binary codes is seen inside Huawei booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2019.

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The U.S. Secret Service last week announced it is merging its Electronic Crimes Task Forces and Financial Crimes Task Forces into a unified network dubbed the Cyber Fraud Task Forces, a move it attributed to the growing convergence of cyber and traditional financial crimes.

The push comes at a time when cybercrime has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-financial crime professionals at a number of banks are seeking to take a more unified approach to these threats as well.

"The creation of the new Cyber Fraud Task Force (CFTF) will offer a specialized cadre of agents and analysts, trained in the latest analytical techniques and equipped with the most cutting-edge technologies," Michael D'Ambrosio, assistant director, U.S. Secret Service, said in a written statement[here]. "Together with our partners, the CFTFs stand ready to combat the full range of cyber-enabled financial crimes.

“As the nation continues to grapple with the wave of cybercrime associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFTFs will lead the effort to hold accountable all those who seek to exploit this perilous moment for their own illicit gain.”

The Secret Service said it has 42 domestic CFTF locations with 2 international locations, London and Rome. It plans to expand the CFTF network in coming years to encompass 160 offices across the country and around the globe.

The CFTF approach, which the Secret Service first revealed in March[here], has yielded "better data sharing, institutional alliance, and investigative skill development," the Secret Service said.

“Through these efforts, the Secret Service has successfully disrupted hundreds of online COVID-19 related scams, investigated a number of cyber fraud cases, halted the illicit sales of online stolen COVID-19 test kits, prevented tens of millions of dollars in fraud from occurring, and is leading a nation-wide effort to investigate and counter a vast transnational unemployment fraud scheme targeting the U.S. state unemployment programs,” it said.

(Brett Wolf, Regulatory Intelligence)

This article was produced by Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence - - and initially posted on July 10. Regulatory Intelligence provides a single source for regulatory news, analysis, rules and developments, with global coverage of more than 400 regulators and exchanges. Follow Regulatory Intelligence compliance news on Twitter: @thomsonreuters