WASHINGTON (7/9/09)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Tuesday reported that Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) related to fraud increased across the board during 2008, with depository institutions filing 12.85% more SARs than they had in 2007. Fraud violations account for 7 of the 20 types of violations tracked by FinCEN, and represented nearly half of all violations reported during 2008, the FinCEN release said. In comments accompanying a FinCEN release, director James H. Freis, Jr. said that “while increases in reporting of suspected fraudulent activity could mean that there is an increase in fraud, it also reflects an increase in awareness within financial institutions detecting such activity.” FinCEN reported double-digit increases in fraud-related filings, including fraud related to checks, mortgages, consumer loans, wire transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and commercial loans. However, the total amount of SARs filed only showed a slight increase of 3%, lower than the 16% increase recorded during 2007. To view the full FinCEN release, use the resource link.