Sentencing of 26-year old money mule from Enfield serves as stark warning
June 6, 2018
A young man from Enfield who allowed his account to be used by fraudsters to transfer funds has was sentenced today at Inner London Crown Court, and received a 12 month community order and 280 hours of unpaid work.
The defendant’s phone revealed exchanges of text messages with the fraudsters, giving up use of his accounts, cards and online banking in exchange for a cut.
Addressing The Problem
At the moment, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to stop money mules who are the recipients of push payment scams.
Various programmes designed to educate young people and parents about money muling are reaching out to the public. Cifas, in partnership with Financial Fraud Action UK, part of UK Finance, for instance, have led a hard hitting multi-media campaign which clearly spells out the dangers and implications of becoming involved. But there is so much more to be done.
The regulators have cited collaboration and data sharing as key factors in mitigating the risk. Many bodies, from financial crime solution companies like Synectics Solutions to banks and trade groups, are working together to try to formulate better systems to combat the problem, including transactional controls and flagging up potential and actual victims - whilst providing an efficient real-time ‘on boarding’ service to genuine customers.
Achieving this will take a holistic approach, looking at both the application process and account lifecycle and offering a multi-layered set of provisions and solutions.
Synectics Solutions is well equipped to support the industry in meeting these challenges, hosting an established syndicated intelligence database of in excess of 250 million records across multiple sectors and with access to a variety of other public and private data sources.
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.
SIRA is an all-in-one established financial crime prevention solution which leverages millions of data items from different sectors to identify and stop fraudsters working across industries, enabling providers to make quick and informed decisions. It works using a multitude of machine learning algorithms and comprehensive workflow management enabling point of application identification of fraud cases, whether these be identity frauds or money mules – key fraud types in the proliferation of APP fraud. In the first half of 2018 just over three quarters of all fraud identified within our syndicated database were either identity fraud or misuse of account (driven mainly by mule activity), the data related to which is available to match to as part of the syndicated intelligence pot.
Precision, our predictive analytics solution, has the ability to process huge volumes of data and apply a combined array of algorithms and modelling techniques. It provides a predictive modelling platform capable of analysing the largest of data sets and producing actionable results in real-time. Increasingly it is being used to target specific types of financial crime activity.
These solutions may prove to be particularly helpful in:
Profiling what a potential victim of scamming might look like, taking in factors like demographics, age, income, location and occupation.
Identifying bank accounts applied for by first party and third party fraudsters where the account if opened has a high risk of being used for mule activity, namely being used to receive funds as a result of fraudulent activity elsewhere, account takeover or APP.
However, we appreciate this is only part of the solution.
We are also taking an active role in collaborating with customers and the industry to move the fight against APP fraud and money mules forward. We are co-ordinating shared knowledge through workshops and feedback from our clients – financial institutions which are in the ‘front line’.
We’re also tracking the voluntary Contingent Reimbursement Model Code currently being applied by many banks to compensate victims of APP fraud – and we will consult with our members when this code is ratified.
Whilst there is currently a lot of industry focus in this area there is also some uncertainty on how best to combat it and the full implications of the PSR guidelines.
What is certain is that financial institutions which fail to take up a positive and proactive position are leaving themselves open to potential damage, financially and reputationally.
Authorised Push Payment fraud
One area of fraud which money mules and many other victims become unwittingly involved in is Authorised Push Payment scams – where payments are when fraudsters deceive consumers or individuals at a business to send them a payment under false pretences to a bank account controlled by the fraudster.
To find out more, please download our white paper ‘Addressing the problem of APP fraud’ at www.synectics-solutions.com
To discuss the implications of money mules and how you might participate in the collaborative approach to combating them, please call 03332 343 418 or email email@example.com.