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ICE uses financial investigations to beat criminals at their trade

Financial Investigations

ICE uses financial investigations to beat criminals at their trade. By following the money trail, law enforcement can identify and dismantle international criminal networks, seizing the networks' proceeds and related assets. ICE, along with other Department of Homeland Security component agencies, is charged with protecting the nation's borders. One way ICE does this is by investigating the illicit flow of money in and out of the United States. (read more)


Cornerstone is ICE's initiative to detect and close weaknesses within U.S. financial, trade and transportation sectors that can be exploited by criminal networks. Law enforcement entities share criminal typologies and methods with businesses and industries that manage the very systems that terrorists and criminal organizations seek to exploit. This sharing of information allows the financial and trade community to take precautions in order to protect themselves from exploitation. In return, ICE receives information to more thoroughly investigate these complex and sophisticated criminal schemes.

COVID-19 Financial Fraud

Scammers have attempted to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic through fraudulent financial activity relating to payment for non-existent or counterfeit goods (testing kits and medical treatments), fraudulent fundraising for phony charities, and other financial relief scams. Many COVID-19 fraud schemes target the elderly.  The following infographic contains a list of consumer scams identified by federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies:

COVID-19 Fraud

How You Can Help

INCREASE awareness by monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and related reporting

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Subscribe to alerts for consumers and businesses to keep up with the latest scams.
  • The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance to financial institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the following link.

MAINTAIN strong “Know Your Customer” practices and comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and other industry reporting requirements through a comprehensive anti-money laundering program

  • The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN): Provides further information to financial institutions in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

STRENGTHEN communication and promote public-private partnerships

  • Partner with your local HSI office by maintaining open lines of communication and report suspicious activity


  • If you suspect you are being scammed, don’t hesitate in reporting the incident to local law enforcement and contact Homeland Security Investigations at Covid19Fraud@dhs.gov. Even if it’s too late to recoup losses, details may help others from becoming a victim.

Protecting America is more than just a responsibility for government agencies; it's a shared mission for all Americans. The importance of private sector partnership in this shared mission cannot be overstated. There are several ways individuals and businesses can help:

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/17/2020