Beware of cyber jobs offering easy money
Date of Publishing:21/12/2010
Mumbai: Beware of people offering commissions for monetary transactions from your bank account. They could be acting on behalf of a terrorist organization and using you as a 'money mule'.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has alerted banks and customers about transactions through dormant accounts since this could be a case of the account holder being used as a "money mule" for laundering.
"Of late, it has been brought to our notice that money mules can be used to launder the proceeds of fraud by criminals who gain illegal access to deposit accounts by recruiting third parties," said an RBI official. "The third parties may be innocent or they could be complicit in the crimes."
Like mules, these account holders carry somebody else's burden, mostly unknowingly, sometimes willingly. In a money-mule transaction, an individual with a bank account is recruited to receive cheque deposits or wire transfers and then transfer these funds (mainly overseas) to other accounts, minus a certain commission. Money mules may be recruited through a variety of methods, including spam emails, advertisements on genuine recruitment websites, social networking sites and newspapers, and instant messaging.
If caught, a money mule has his or her account suspended, causing potential financial loss. He or she is also liable for legal action for having been part of a fraud.
"People can fall into such a trap if they are greedy. They may feel there is nothing illegal in such a scheme and end up acting as conduits in money laundering," the official said. Money Mule
A 'money mule' comes into the picture when a fraudster needs an account to which he can transfer stolen funds and then launder them. The fraudster intends to use such an account as a buffer to protect himself from the law Recruitment
Prospective money mules are lured with job vacancy ads via spam, chat rooms or job search websites. The jobs are usually advertised as financial management work requiring no special educational qualifications
Once recruited, money mules receive funds stolen from compromised accounts into their accounts
The money mules are then asked to forward the funds (minus a commission) overseas, typically using a wire transfer service.
Precaution Be wary of unsolicited job offers promising easy money. The ads can arrive through fake websites of genuine companies, looking authentic
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