How to Prevent Money Laundering and Other Financial Crimes?

Money laundering is the act of concealing the source of illegally obtained money by making it appear clean. Money launderers will launder funds through a series of complex financial transactions that mix it with legally obtained money. This makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify and trace the source of the funds.

How to Prevent Money Laundering and Other Financial Crimes?

Do not fall for phishing scams.

Phishing scams are a form of social engineering in which the attacker uses email to dupe a user into revealing personal information. The term is derived from "fishing," as the attacker is trying to "fish" for users' data by impersonating a legitimate organization or person. Phishing emails may ask you to update your account information, provide password resets, or even request personal details such as your mother's maiden name or Social Security number.

To avoid falling victim to this scam:

  • Do not click on links sent via email; instead type URLs directly into your browser window (e.g., https://www...). Never type sensitive information into an email message unless you know who it's from and why they need that info!
  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited message asking for confidential data like passwords or credit card numbers; if someone asks for these things online, go directly to the company website where you know they'd never ask for private info like this over email!

Do not use public Wi-Fi to access your personal accounts or do any financial transactions.

You should never use public Wi-Fi to access your personal accounts or do any financial transactions. Hackers can easily intercept data being transmitted over a public network, putting you at risk of identity theft and other financial crimes.

To avoid this, use a secure VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt all communications between your computer and the internet. You can also use a secure browser like Chrome or Firefox with HTTPS Everywhere installed so that all websites you visit use encryption by default. Lastly, connect directly with your bank using its secure connection instead of going through an unsecured router or hotspot offered by the hotel where you're staying

Verify your bank account number and make sure you are entering the correct information before you make any payments.

Always check the sender's name, email address and URL before you make a payment. Avoid sharing your personal information with untrusted individuals or organizations. Use two-factor authentication whenever it is offered by your financial institution in order to protect you against identity theft and other online scams

. Install and use a password manager to generate and store unique passwords for every website that requires one. Set up two-factor authentication on your bank accounts, email accounts, social media accounts and any other online service that supports it. Consider using a VPN or Tor when you are using public Wi-Fi to ensure that no one can intercept your data while you are browsing the web.

Always check the sender's name, email address and URL before you make a payment.

Always check the sender's name, email address and URL before you make a payment.

  • Check the sender's name. Is it familiar? Does it sound like someone you know? If not, then proceed with caution and contact them to confirm that they're sending you money for legitimate reasons.
  • Check the email address of the sender. Email addresses are often spoofed or faked by scammers who want to trick you into believing they're someone else--like your bank or credit card company--so make sure that their domain matches up with what's in their signature block (e.g., If there are any typos or formatting errors in their email address, this could be another sign of fraud; however, sometimes legitimate businesses use unconventional domains like Hotmail instead of Gmail because they don't want people knowing how old their domain is (this is called "domain squatting"). So while checking for typos/formatting errors may help weed out some scams initially (because most people will avoid using non-standard domains), we still recommend contacting companies directly if something looks fishy!

Avoid sharing your personal information with untrusted individuals or organizations.

As a general rule, you should not share your personal information with anyone who is not trustworthy. This includes all individuals and organizations involved in the transaction.

If you do decide to share your personal information with untrusted third parties, make sure that they are legally obliged to protect it and keep it secret from others who may misuse or abuse it.

Use two-factor authentication whenever it is offered by your financial institution in order to protect you against identity theft and other online scams.

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires you to provide two forms of identification before you can access your account. This prevents criminals from accessing the information in your bank account or credit card by guessing the username and password. The most common way to implement this type of security is through an SMS code, which is sent to the mobile phone number associated with your account (but not all financial institutions offer this option).

Other methods include using an email address or security code generated by third party applications like Google Authenticator or Authy.

While two-factor authentication is not a guarantee that your account will be safe from hackers, it does make it much more difficult for criminals to access your personal information. It also provides a layer of security if someone gains access to your password by using a keylogger or phishing attack. Meanwhile for businesses we recommend using identity verification services.


The best way to protect yourself against money laundering and other financial crimes is by being vigilant and cautious. You should never give out personal information unless you are sure that it is safe to do so, and always check the sender's name, email address and URL before making any payments online. If something seems suspicious or out of place then contact your bank immediately!

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

How to Prevent Money Laundering and Other Financial Crimes?