Phishers Recruit UK Computer Users Into Money Laundering Operations, Don’t Be A Mule

Spam researchers at IT security specialist Sophos are warning UK computer users to be wary of a new email scam encouraging innocent people to help phishers, under the guise of a money-making opportunity. Sophos believes that recipients of these messages could unwittingly be recruited as ‘mules’, helping criminal gangs steal money via the internet.

These new emails, which are entitled ‘Work From Home; Prepare to Succeed’ are being sent by phishing gangs and claim to offer lucrative earnings to those recipients who agree to move money in and out of their bank accounts on behalf of a financial institution.

Phishers cannot transfer stolen money directly to their own accounts because of the trail this would inevitably leave. To cover their tracks they are trying to recruit UK computer users as mules in order to create a complicated – and untraceable – system of transfers.

Participants who get involved in this scam are instructed they will receive money in their bank accounts and will then have to transfer to another account via Western Union – taking a 10% cut in the process.

“Opportunities to make money by working for just a few hours each day are obviously tempting, but computer users need to make sure they don’t fall for this scam. If they do, not only will they be assisting a criminal gang, they may find themselves suspected of fraud and helping the police with their enquiries,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “This is like agreeing to help out at a taxi firm only to discover later you were a getaway driver for a bank robbery.”

Copies of the scam emails can be seen at:

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend against the threats of both spam and viruses, and urges all internet users to be suspicious of unsolicited emails making unexpected business propositions.

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