What Is Money Mule?
Once the fraudster has captured personal information using anyone of the ways mentioned above, they need an account to which they can transfer funds from the compromised account. This is where a “Money Mule” comes into picture. A Money Mule is an unwitting participant in the frauds who is recruited by fraudsters to launder stolen money across the globe.
How The Fraudsters Operate?
- Fraudsters contact prospective victims (money mules) with job vacancy ads via spam e-mail, Internet chat rooms or job search Web sites. Jobs usually are advertised as financial management work, and ads suggest that no special knowledge is required.
- The crime rings persuade the victim to come and work for their fake company. Some fraudsters even ask mules to sign official-looking contracts of employment.
- Once recruited, money mules receive funds into their accounts. These funds are stolen from other accounts that have been compromised.
- Mules then are asked to take these funds out of their accounts and forward them overseas (minus a commission payment), typically using a wire transfer service.
- As the account of the mule has been involved in the transaction, the mule also becomes an unwitting participant in the frauds.
Tips To Protect Yourself From Money Mule
- Be cautious about any unsolicited offers or opportunities offering you the chance to make some easy money. Be especially wary of offers from people or companies overseas as is harder for you to find out if they really are who they say they are.
- Money mule adverts or offers can take a variety of different forms and they may even copy a genuine company's web site and register a similar web address to add authenticity to the scam.
- These adverts will normally state that they are an overseas company seeking "representatives" or "agents" to act on their behalf for a period of time, sometimes to avoid high charges for making payments, or local taxes.
- The advert may be written in poor English with grammatical and spelling mistakes and they may urge you not to inform the bank or the police about the reason for making the payments. The adverts may seek people with accounts at certain banks, or Internet payment systems.
- Take steps to verify any company which makes you a job offer and check their contact details (address, phone number, email address and web site) are correct and whether they are registered.