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RedFlag Accelerator Typologies Quarterly Update: Emerging threats enabled by COVID-19

RedFlag Accelerator Typologies Quarterly Update: Emerging threats enabled by COVID-19

31 Jan 2022

Dear RedFlag Accelerator Subscribers and Interested Friends

This winter we watched the world go by, still tormented by the COVID-19 pandemic but hopeful that it’s almost over (not the world – the pandemic!).  By contrast, criminals hoped that COVID would never end so that they can continue to exploit the crisis, tricking people and abusing children for dirty money.

During this time:

- We read lots of news reports and witnessed how Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) and Online Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) crimes have spiked.

- We observed how perpetrators further expanded their networks and methods, hiding their tracks better than ever.

- We discussed with our partners in banks and other organisations what they are seeing in comparison with what the world sees.

As a result, the latest RedFlag Accelerator version (1.5) brings all these findings together, introducing new content which helps to identify suspicious activities relating to emerging MSHT and CSE threats enabled by the COVID-19 effects. Marking the end of Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the US, we have added new content covering areas such as remote customer onboarding, digital banking, and new perpetrator behaviours in both forced labour and CSE typologies.

The cost of getting MSHT and CSE wrong is unacceptably high. Having the right controls in place is more important than ever. As is the need for everyone to come together for interdisciplinary collaboration. Our Typologies are available to financial institutions as a free download, so please get in touch!