Money Mule Fraud – What is it & how to prevent it?
What is Money Mule Fraud?
Money mules are people often duped and recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime.
The money is transferred from the mule’s account to the scam operator who is typically located in another country. Students are often the victims of ‘money mule’ fraud because they are attracted by the promise of quick cash, unaware of what the consequences are.
Since 2013, the number of young people identified as having money mule accounts has more than doubled and some money mule accounts are owned by teenagers as young as 14.
Young or old, knowingly or unknowingly involved, money mules are targeted and become victims because they are vulnerable.
Money Mule Punishment
The punishment for money mules is severe and many of them who are recruited by fraudsters are indulging in criminal activity.
Whether the mule is aware of it or not, their involvement in fraudulent activity could see them face prosecution and even jail sentences of up to 14 years in some cases. Other punishment could see a money mule’s bank account close and could lead to them experiencing problems accessing student loans, phone contracts and other forms of credit.
Money mules are also a vehicle for money laundering, for Authorised Push Payment Fraud (APP) and other fraudster scams. They can become unwittingly involved in Authorised Push Payment scams where fraudsters deceive consumers at a business to send them a payment under false pretences to a bank account controlled by the fraudster.
At the moment, there’s no ‘silver bullet’ solution to stop money mules who are the recipients of push payment scams but regulators have cited collaboration and data sharing as key factors in mitigating the risk.
Synectics Solutions is well equipped to support the industry in addressing this challenge with is establish database of records across multiple sectors and its range of fraud detection and prevention solutions.
In harnessing this data, our established SIRA and Precision services have a key role to play in the future of the fight
against money mules and APP scams.