This week FinCEN published a new SAR Activity Review and a Mortgage Loan Fraud Update. This issue of the semiannual SAR Activity Review provides (i) the results of a survey of readers of the Trends, Tips & Issues and By the Numbers publications, (ii) an article on foreign-located money services businesses that have registered with FinCEN, (iii) feedback on FinCEN data from state and local law enforcement agencies, and (iv) articles focused on changes to SAR reports and tips for writing more effective narratives. The SAR Activity Review also provides an industry perspective on the AML risks presented by business funded prepaid cards. In the Mortgage Loan Fraud Update, FinCEN provides data regarding recent mortgage SAR activity during the second quarter of 2012. Overall, FinCEN experienced a 41% decrease in mortgage fraud SARs over the previous year, but SARs regarding foreclosure rescue scams continued to grow. FinCEN believes the growth in foreclosure-related filings could be attributed to a growing awareness of such scams and real estate market conditions.
On October 10, FinCEN issued updates to its electronic filing requirements for Currency Transaction Reports, Suspicious Activity Reports, and Designation of Exempt Person Forms. The updates do not include any new or deleted fields but do provide clarifications in the instructions for certain fields and other technical changes.