Europe Continues The Global Crackdown On Money Mules

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Europe Continues The Global Crackdown On Money MulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit.

Law Enforcement Is Losing Patience With Mules!

Mules are the lifeline for transnational criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. enterprise

422 Arrested And 4,031 Money Mules Identified In Global Crackdown On Money LaunderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions.

In Europe this year, law enforcement authorities from 26 countries and EuropolEuropol The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organized crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states. The Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from authorities in the member states. Based in The Hague, it comprised 1,065 staff as of 2016. WEBSITE LINK announced the results of the European Money MuleMoney Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes. Action ‘EMMA 6’, a worldwide operation against money mule schemes.

Between September and November 2020, EMMA 6 was carried out for the sixth consecutive year with the support of the European Banking Federation (EBF), FinTech FinCrime Exchange, INTERPOL, and Western Union. As a result, 4 031 money mules were identified alongside 227 money mule recruiters, and 422 individuals were arrested worldwide.

During the span of the operation, 1 529 criminal investigations were initiated. With the support of the private sector including more than 500 banks and financial institutions, 4 942 fraudulent money mule transactions were identified, preventing a total loss estimated at €33.5 million.

DON’T BECOME A LINK IN THE MONEY LAUNDERING CHAIN

Money mules are individuals who, often unwittingly, have been recruited by criminal organizations as money laundering agents to hide the origin of ill-gotten money. Unaware that they are engaging in criminal activities, and tricked by the promise of easy money, mules transfer stolen funds between accounts, often in different countries, on behalf of others. In exchange, they receive a commission for their services.

While mules are recruited via numerous routes such as direct contact or through email, criminals are more and more turning to social media to recruit new accomplices, through the advertisement of fake jobs offers (e.g. ‘money transfer agents’), online pop-up adsPop-up Ads Pop-up ads (also known as pop-ups) - Unsolicited advertising that appears as a "pop-up" window on a computer screen. Sometimes these can be created to look like a financial institution's request for personal information. and instant messaging applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing.. Although some COVID-19 related cases have been reported, payment process compromise and romance scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. continue to be the most recurrent schemes. The use of cryptocurrencies by money mules is also on the rise.

Europol and EU law enforcement authorities together with international partners and financial institutions will launch the #DontBeaMule campaign to raise awareness among the public on the risks of money mule schemes.

The campaign, promoted internationally by competent authorities, will aim to inform the public about how criminals operate, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they become involved.

What do you risk as a money mule?

  • physical attacks or threats if you don’t continue to cooperate with the criminals;
  • a prison sentence, fine or community service;
  • a criminal record that could seriously affect the rest of your life such as never being able to secure a mortgage or open a bank account.

What can you do?

If you think you might be used as a muleMule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes., act now before it is too late: stop transferring money and notify your bank and your national police immediately. Do not simply return it and hope for the best!

EUROPOL SUPPORT

Operation EMMA is part of an ongoing project conducted under the umbrella of the EMPACT CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Payment FraudPayment Fraud Payment Fraud (Non-Plastic) The fraud definitions for payment fraud are confusing unless you specify “non-plastic”. Payment Fraud (non-plastic) refers to payments made outside of card networks, via payments rails that send funds from one bank account to another. When making this type of payment, fraud occurs when a payments is sent to an account that the fraudster controls. Payment fraud can be unauthorized, which is commonly executed as an account takeover. Payment fraud can also be authorized, which is commonly executed through authorized push payment fraud (scams). Operational Action Plan, designed to combat online and payment card fraudCard Fraud Card Fraud is one of the most commonly referenced fraud definitions. It occurs when a fraudster uses a card (debit or credit) to make a purchase without the authorization of the cardholder. Card fraud can occur in-person or through digital channels., led by the Netherlands.

Building on the success of the previous EMMA operations, EMMA 6 saw the participation of law enforcement authorities from:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

During this yearlong operation, Europol supported the coordination and preparation of operational meetings, delivered analysis, and facilitated the exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and private partners. Furthermore, Europol coordinated the awareness campaign with the participating countries.

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organized forms of crime. They also work with many non-EU partner states and international organizations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organized crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 – 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organized and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions, and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organizations, including the private sector where relevant. Cybercrime is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

TAGS: SCARS, EMMA 6, Eurpol, Money Mule Crackdown, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims, EMPACT, Interpol, Western Union

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Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

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The Issue Of Race In ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Reporting
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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
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