AML expert warns of increased fraud in new lockdown

SmartSearch has warned that businesses in the property sector need to be aware of the increased threat of fraud as the country enters another nationwide lockdown.

The anti-money laundering (AML) expert suggested that switching to electronic verification is the best way to protect against criminal activity, as well as to be “COVID-secure”.

SmartSearch argued that the government’s order for the UK to return to remote working where possible will mean that regulated businesses requiring ID verification for customer onboarding processes will be vulnerable to both money laundering and attempts at financial fraud.
Commenting on the latest lockdown measures, SmartSearch CEO, John Dobson, said: “It looks as if these restrictions will be in place for several months, so businesses need to have the systems in place to ensure they are compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) legislation.

“A lot of firms were targeted last year and fell victim to fraudsters because ID verification processes were manual and outdated.

“This time around there’s no excuse for leaving those gaps in security wide open for exploitation by criminals, with electronic verification as the only viable alternative today.”

However, Dobson also indicated that he expects to see a “big shift” in the number of businesses in the property sector looking to electronic verification to onboard customers more securely.

“Not only is it more secure and quicker, it is also COVID-safe as it’s all done digitally,” he added.

“The technology is available to make a remote ID check for an individual online in less than two seconds, and a check for business in less than three minutes, with bank account checks, facial recognition and document verification to deliver additional layers of security for clients that are seriously risk averse. These are browser-based systems that can be up and running within 24 hours.”

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