FBI has published a warning notification about the increasing scammers preying on unemployed Americans, to tune them as money mules. The report talks about how unemployed people looking for jobs amidst the pandemic were lured to be unwitting mules and use their bank accounts to launder money.
Money Mules For Processing Scams
While some threat actors like APTs are unleashed for snooping and stealing sensitive data, others like ransomware operators are motivated by ransom. While many drive their victims to pay up in terms of cryptocurrencies, other regular frauds on the ground still follow the old way of being paid in fiat currencies.
And since these need to be settled in banks, at last, scammers of these types of fraud often hire people to process such transactions without any risk. And these third-party processors are called money mules! They could of various types, working knowingly to unknowingly the purpose, just for a small commission.
Scammers ask these hired mules to accept donations and send them to scammers’ accounts through wire transfers or in terms of cryptocurrencies. Anything suspicious found by banks from these transactions will be borne by innocent mules only.
Your Bank Account Could Be Fueling Crime: The FBI Baltimore Field Office is warning potential victims of a rise in money mule schemes. https://t.co/wtzd0pQCrn
— FBI Baltimore (@FBIBaltimore) December 4, 2020
Since these are rising in number, the FBI’s Baltimore wing has published a warning report informing about these scammers and how one can spot themselves if they were a mule. Further, the current pandemic has swallowed most of the jobs, making the unemployed vulnerable to scam jobs like these.
FBI said that by using money mules, scammers had processed over $3.5 billion money between 2015 and 2019. The rise of Work-from-home culture too fuelled these operations, giving scammers a push in searching their mules.
FBI has published a set of points to identify if they were a part of the scam by turning as money mules and suggested what could be done to remain safe. Please read it here: FBI on Rising Money Mules.