Telegram is the latest communications app to find itself under the microscope of regulators, with financial watchdogs suspicious the popular messaging service could be used for money laundering. The investigation has shone a light on the chat service, which is used by millions of people in more than 100 countries.
What Is Telegram?
Telegram is a social media messaging service founded in 2013 by two Russian brothers. It enables people to chat securely and privately with each other in a range of settings, including group chats. It also offers the ability to set up private channels, which are shared with a select few. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular among those looking for an alternative to traditional messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype.
Why Are Authorities Investigating?
Authorities are concerned that Telegram could be used for money laundering. According to reports, criminals have been using the service’s private channels to exchange large amounts of money without being detected. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international body which promotes and develops global standards for combating money laundering – has said that Telegram has not done enough to prevent its service being used for criminal activities.
What Are the Implications of the Investigation?
The investigation has significant implications for Telegram and its users. If found guilty, Telegram could face sanctions and fines. This may include a ban on the app, as well as restrictions on its use in certain countries. Additionally, users may be asked to provide additional personal information and adhere to more thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The investigation could also have wider implications for the messaging industry. Other messaging services – particularly those which offer secure and private chat settings – could also face further scrutiny. This could result in further restrictions and regulations being imposed, as well as increased responsibility for messaging service providers to ensure their services are not being used for criminal activities.
How Can We Proactively Stay Safe?
Whilst this investigation may once again raise questions about the security of messaging services, it’s important to remember that the majority of people using Telegram are doing so legitimately and in a responsible manner.
In order to stay safe, users should ensure that they set strong passwords for their accounts and keep their personal information secure. They should also be aware of the privacy settings available in the app, and be mindful of any suspicious or unsolicited requests they receive.
It’s also important to remember that many messaging services offer additional protection against fraudulent activity. For example, Telegram provides two-factor authentication, which requires a user to input an additional code in order to login.
Whilst the investigation into Telegram is still ongoing, it does highlight the need for users of secure messaging services to be aware of the potential for their services to be abused for illicit activities. Ensuring devices and accounts are kept secure is key to helping to stop such activities.
If you found this article informative, why not head to social media and share it? This will help to raise awareness and ensure others are aware of the potential risks of using messaging services.