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FinCEN PROVIDES HELPFUL ANTI-FRAUD INFORMATION FOR
NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
FinCEN joins with other Federal, State and Local government agencies and consumer protection organizations to recognize National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10. This coordinated consumer education campaign encourages individuals across the country to take full advantage of their consumer rights.
This week, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Department of the Treasury have issued this consumer fraud alert, Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams.
FinCEN provides a number of special resources to educate consumers, and the financial institutions that serve them, of potential fraud and scam attempts. FinCEN’s rules help consumers by requiring financial institutions to be on the alert for illicit activity. Requirements that a financial institution know its customers can help both to provide better customer service and to prevent that customer from becoming a victim of fraud. Financial institutions are required to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) with FinCEN when they know or suspect a financial activity to be illegal. In addition to their role in spotting money laundering and terrorist financing, SARs provide information on eight types of fraud: check fraud, mortgage loan fraud, consumer loan fraud, wire transfer fraud, commercial loan fraud, credit card fraud, debit card fraud, and identity theft. FinCEN then analyzes this data and, among other things, breaks it down geographically to identify “hot spots” across the nation. This analysis better enables Federal, State and Local law enforcement to track down and stop the perpetrators.
Today’s recognition of NCPW is in keeping with FinCEN’s efforts to safeguard the U.S. financial system and protect its citizens from financial crime. FinCEN is also a key participant in the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), an interagency group which President Barack Obama has established to strengthen efforts to combat financial crime
Multilingual outreach materials: Outreach materials in seven foreign languages for money services businesses (MSBs) and their customers can be found on FinCEN’s Web site at http://www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/materials.html. The outreach materials, available in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, and Russian, help to ensure that consumers know their MSB’s obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Financial scam warnings: FinCEN alerts consumers to ongoing financial scams, using FinCEN’s name or logo, that attempt to solicit funds from unsuspecting victims – http://www.fincen.gov/alert.htm.
A list of external resources for financial crime victims: FinCEN provides a Web page for consumers to use as a resource for finding the appropriate Federal agency to address their needs – http://www.fincen.gov/help4victims.html.
F inCEN's mission is to enhance U.S. national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse by promoting transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems.