Money mules - Financial managers for cybercriminals

Money mules enable cybercriminals to cash out stolen money. After cybercriminals take over a victim’s account, they enlist the help of a third person (a mule) to retrieve the money and send it to them in an untraceable way. Typically, criminals manipulate mules into (a) receiving money from a victim’s account and (b) transferring the money to the criminal using a payment service (such as Western Union or MoneyGram). Bogus websites that are used as fronts for recruiting money mules have been around for many years. A Russian forum member perfected this scam by offering a universal money mule recruitment site kit. This package offers a comprehensive solution for cybercriminals, covering every aspect from mule recruitment to cashing out. This offering demonstrates once again that mules are critical players in the fraud ecosystem.

Takeaway: Consumers should be aware of these types of scams and educated about the perils of “work from home” offers that involve money transfers and questionable incoming transactions. As a rule of thumb: If there is any doubt, there should be no doubt! With such a professional attitude toward their work, this type of cybercriminal is prone to reach new levels of efficiency in its recruitment process, which is why standardization was applied in the first place.