Mankind has witnessed internet advance technologically in leaps and bounds, within this ‘Wild West’ environment.
Mass cyber thefts of information be in on credit card or identity theft to account take over has become the norm within underground “carder” marketplaces.
Smurfs, the term evolved initially evolved as a money handler, particularly for ill-gotten funds, but evolved as “smurf-crews” within terrorist organizations, and so on.
These smurfs in the current scenario are used right from evading CTR requirements to an attack within the technology world with denial of service attack (i.e. flooding spoofed ping messages). Today, we see lot of convergence between money launderers and cyber criminal activities for its huge payoff.
Bangladesh bank ripped off millions of dollars by Chinese hackers with millions of dollars diverted to Philippines from its New York federal bank’s account is a classic example of such a convergence, few days ago.
In hindsight, all banks and financial institutions are realizing the dire need to technologically drive their deterrence models, despite the positive changes bought by internet. Yet they have to deal with these nefarious activities.
Money Mules: Relating back to the effect of mules in the whole process it is important to be aware of their use by both individuals and organized crime to accomplish multi-national financial crimes.
Mules are increasingly being used by perpetrators to make use of stolen credit card information, and in most circumstances the mules are not aware that they are being involved. They are hired by “cohorts” under the pretext of part time job activities (both via online and print media) and they fall prey – refer to work from home adverts. The said mules work start soliciting information from various ignorant customer, and in many instances their own information is being fabricated to achieve end results.
Compliance and cyber security experts are therefore urged time again to deploy and use intense interviewing techniques with customers to determine the level of involvement to arrive at the involvement of crime.
Students are the prey: During most occasions, additionally, students fall prey and start acting as mules. Therefore, various red flags will need to be considered including fake passports being used to open accounts followed by high volume of electronic fund transfer activity.
A close eye on new deposit accounts with unusual activity, investments, and internet based work opportunities should be carefully pondered by compliance analysts, and whistle-blow as required, from time to time.
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