May 1, 2024

CyberSecurity Source | Spring 2024

Cyber Security

Alert on Cryptocurrency Money Services Businesses

The FBI is warning Americans against using cryptocurrency money transmitting services that are not registered as Money Services Businesses (MSB). Services not registered as a MSB do not adhere to anti-money laundering requirements, increasing the chance of fraud.

Thankfully, with some education and a few simple steps, you can prevent unintentionally using a non-complaint money service!

Here’s what you should know:

Money Services Businesses Registration

The FBI has recently conducted law enforcement operations against cryptocurrency services which were not licensed in accordance with federal law. People who use unlicensed cryptocurrency money transmitting services may encounter financial disruptions during law enforcement actions, especially if their cryptocurrency is intermingled with funds obtained through illegal means.

Risky Services

Cryptocurrency money transmitting services that purposely break the law or knowingly facilitate illegal transactions will be investigated by law enforcement. Using a service that does not comply with its legal obligations may put you at risk of losing access to funds after law enforcement operations target those businesses.

How To Stay Safe

  • Before using a money transmitting service, check whether it is registered as an MSB with the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN provides a website anyone can check to determine if a company is registered.
    • Remember, the inclusion of a business on the MSB Registrant Search web page is not a recommendation, certification of legitimacy, or endorsement of the business by any government agency.
  • Beware of financial services that do not ask for information including name, date of birth, address, and ID before allowing you to send or receive money or cryptocurrency.
  • Understand that just because an app can be found in an app store does not necessarily mean it is a legal service and is complying with federal requirements.
  • Avoid using services that advertise themselves for illegal purposes.
  • Be cautious when using cryptocurrency services known to be used by criminals to launder their funds.

Read the FBI’s Public Service Announcement to learn more.

6 Ways To Protect Yourself From Fraud

According to the Federal Trade Commission, criminals stole a reported $10 billion from Americans last year.

While scammers continue to target victims, we’re here to make sure you stay up to date on their tactics and how to avoid them.

Check out our tips on how to protect yourself from fraud:

Stop Mail Fraud

Informed Delivery is a free service from the U.S. Postal Service. The agency emails photos of letter-size mail expected to be delivered to you that day or shortly after. This is a great way to be sure nothing is stolen from your mailbox by thieves. You can sign up for this service online. You should also pick up mail as quickly as possible after it’s delivered, and always take your outgoing mail directly to the post office. A common scam we see is criminals stealing checks from mailboxes, erasing the ink and using them to steal from bank accounts.

Watch For Credit Card Skimming

Card skimming, where a criminal places a credit card reader on top of a legitimate card reader at a store or gas station, is estimated to cause up to $1 billion in losses annually. When you are paying at a gas station or other locations, inspect the device for loose or broken machinery to make sure someone hasn’t tampered with it. If you are unsure if the device has been modified, let the cashier know and pay using an alternative method.​

Monitor Your Credit Report

Routinely check your credit report and watch for unusual activity. If you see any, report it to the appropriate financial institution immediately. You may also consider freezing your credit report. This prevents scammers from opening new credit cards or making big purchases in your name. You can unfreeze it as needed for upcoming transactions. Visit for more information on how to stay safe.

Protect Your Financial Accounts

Be sure to create online accounts with each of your financial institutions. As you sign up make sure to come up with a unique password for each login, and every few months, revise the passwords. From there, get in the habit of reviewing the transaction lists on a weekly or biweekly basis. Be sure you can account for every listed transaction. Remember to Immediately report any odd or incorrect transactions. CorTrust Bank customers can set up an online account in minutes.

Set Limits On Social Media

Set your profile so that only your friends can see your Facebook page. To do that, click the downward arrow button in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page, then click on Settings & Privacy and Privacy Checkup. This easy-to-use feature will guide you through the settings to help ensure your account is secure. As a reminder, never accept friend requests from people you don’t know or respond to random messages from strangers.

Verify Online Stores

To avoid online shopping scams, double-check the spelling of a website URL to ensure you are on the legitimate page. Criminals often create a URL with one letter off from the authentic one in hopes you won’t catch it. Remember to remove your credit card number and information from restaurant delivery and retail store sites to avoid the potential of having information included in a data breach.