Money Mules

Money Mules

What are Money Mules?
By phishing or other means of customer identity theft, the fraudster harvests customer NetBanking credentials i.e. customer ID and IPIN with a motive to transfer money from customer account to another account holder of the same or different bank. The beneficiary account holder is referred as a "Money Mule". The beneficiary becomes accomplice unknowingly by social engineering techniques employed by the fraudster.

How does the Fraudster operate?

  • These fraudsters generally operate from across a country other than where the fraud is to be committed to keep themselves away from local law enforcement agencies. They either maintain anonymity or use fictitious identity to commit these frauds.
  • Fraudsters launch their attack using social engineering techniques by contacting the prospective money mules either by sending emails, in chat rooms, job search websites or through internet blogs.
  • Fraudsters lure the prospective money mules to share their bank account details by telling them a fake story and convincing them to receive money in their accounts. Fraudsters also offer a part of their money or commission and persuade them to unknowingly act as money mules.
  • Fraudsters then transfer money from the bank customer account whose Internet Banking customer ID and IPIN / password has been harvested either by means of phishing or through other means of identity theft.
  • Money Mule is then directed by the fraudster to retain commission and transfer balance money either through wire transfer or to an account of another money mule by means of online transfer or cash deposit thereby forming a chain of fraud.
  • Such money transfers would ultimately lead to funds transfer into fraudster's account thereby maintaining anonymity.
  • When such frauds are reported the money mules become the target of law enforcement agencies as their bank accounts are used and their identity is established.

How do you protect yourself from becoming a money mule?

  • The fraudster may cook different stories, however his motive will be to convince you to share your bank account details, receive money and act as per his directions.
  • Do not respond to email from strangers asking you for your bank account details.
  • For any overseas job offer, confirm the identity and contact details of the company offering the job to you. They may have hosted a company website to make it look authentic, but there may not exist any company at all in reality.
  • Do not get carried away by attractive offers or prizes.

Samples of Fraud emails:

Hello !

My name is Morgan Smith Bryant, I am an artist with my wife Susan Morgan, We own SUS Art World in London (United Kingdom), I live in United Kingdom with my two kids, four cats, It is definitely a full house, I have been into art work since I was a little child that gives me about 23 years of experience, I majored in art in high school and took a few college art courses, Most of my work is done in either pencil or airbrush mixed with color pencils.

I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the computer, I have been selling my art for the last 3 years and have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines. I have sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world, I am always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to American and India, they are always offering to pay with credit cards only which is difficult for me to cash here in London United Kingdom. Also, i'm setting a large factory and estate in India.

I am looking for a representative in the India who will be working for me as a petite worker and I will be willing to pay 10% for every transaction, which wouldn't affect your present state of work. Someone who would help me receive payments from my customers in the india mean someone that is responsible and reliable, because the cost of coming to the state and getting payments is very expensive and time consuming, I am working on setting up a branch in the India for now I need a representative in India who will be handling the payment aspect for my company.

These payments will be made via bank transfer only and they would come to you in your name if you are willing to assist as a representative, so all you need to is to open a new account with ABC bank India where my customers in India and United States can be transferring money to you. After deducting your 10% you will then wire the rest to my contractor in India. If you are interested ,i want you to open an account with ABC bank India and forward all the banking information to me including your international passport first three page,birth certificate and election card to me.

The only problem which I have is trust, but I have my way of getting anyone that gets away with my money mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( F.B.I) branch in Washington gets involve. It will not cost you any amount, you are to receive payments from customers for my company which will be sent to you into your ABC bank account.


Morgan Smith

NB: All charges will be deducted from the money, so you are rest assured that you wouldn't spend a dime out of your personal money.

If you are interested, please get back to me as soon as possible via email with the following listed information below:

#Your full name:
#Your full home address,
#Your age,
#Occupation and as well your
#marital status, and your,
#direct contact telephone number,
#Drivers License / International Passport

Thanks for your assistant and God bless,