WSJ Features DSA’s 2018 Suspicious Activity Reports Analysis


The Wall Street Journal’s Corruption Currents section referenced Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc’s 2018 SAR Insights blog post.

Here’s a few highlights from DSA’s analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports filed in 2018 in the US:

  • A first look at the new Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling SAR options. There are marked differences in reporting by Banks and Money Services Businesses (‘MSBs’) with Banks reporting slightly more Trafficking than Smuggling SARs while MSBs reported 6 times as many Smuggling SARs than Trafficking. Banks also report different financial instruments used in Trafficking vs Smuggling. Trafficking appears to be more cash intensive.
  • Credit/Debit Card Fraud is up 37% over 2017 filings, and moved up to the 4th most frequently reported SAR category for Depository Institutions. Bank Identity Theft SAR filings increased 43% over last year.
  • Personal/Business Check and Bank/Cashiers Checks combined are the leading financial instrument reported in new Ponzi Scheme SAR option. Ponzi schemers may turn to check-kiting to prop up a collapsing fraud. Also, Banks reported the subject relationship as “Borrower” in several instances which suggests that fraudsters have taken out loans to keep the schemes afloat. 
  • Silicon Valley MSBs (ex. Facebook, Google, PayPal) account for a majority of MSB SARs in several categories including Pyramid Schemes, Unlicensed MSBs and a disproportionate share all SARs in several categories including 13% of all Other Terrorist SARs.

Read the full 2018 SAR analysis here.