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Evil Kitchen

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Vacancy: Expendable material

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In this issue we’ll talk in more detail about the money mules (or droppers) who were mentioned in the issue There’s no such thing as easy money.

So who are these money mules and what do they do?

Money mules (or droppers) are members of cyberfraud rings. They withdraw money from ATMs using stolen cards, take cash from compromised ATMs, etc. That is, they perform tasks that could get them arrested by law enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, their employers remain safe while the mules are expendable and inexpensive.

During the Trident Breach operation, over one hundred individuals participating in the organisation and maintenance of a large ZeuS botnet were arrested in the US, Ukraine, and Great Britain.

Most of those arrested were between 20 and 25 years old. They were mostly students from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

https://xakep.ru/2011/01/17/54548, «ИП Югай»

Money mules are offered a percentage of the cash they acquire. The withdrawn money is passed to their superiors. Of course, mules don’t exactly hand it over: they open new bank accounts and deposit the money in them or credit it to already existing accounts using the account information they've been provided with. For example, a bank card and its PIN code can be sent to a mule through the post. The job is quite easy. Get an account number, withdraw cash, deposit it to another account, keep your share, and live happily ever after. Alas, no one warns them that they’ve become members of a criminal ring and their actions are punishable by law. But even if a mule doesn't get caught, things aren't that rosy.

First of all, employers can double-cross a mule. Job descriptions for mules contain sophisticated terms and allude to something forbidden in order to engage readers. And then mules have to pay in advance for their training and their first batch of cards.

By introducing insurances of this kind, fraudsters think that preparing to commit a crime is not a crime. However, an attempted crime is usually regarded as a crime too.

How would you like it if an advertisement offering a job in a criminal ring appeared in your city across the street from the police station? With mules it often happens this way: criminal job offers appear in the public domain on the Internet despite the fact that maintaining anonymity is vital for a job of this kind!

Thus the real intentions of the advertisements' authors are clear as day: they want to receive advance payment and vanish. They complain that unscrupulous applicants have deceived them before and that advance payment is needed as insurance. There’s no logic at play here: maintaining a grip over their employees is the first thing the employers take care of. They use lots of sophisticated terms and post fake feedback from other mules but fail to mention the most important aspect of the job: why do they even need to share the loot with you?

And here’s the other problem: they'll never let you out. The first operation will most certainly be followed by more dangerous ones, and screenshots of your correspondence with the employers will encourage you to agree to take part.

#cybercrime #responsibility #terminology

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There’s plenty of interesting, well-paid, and, most important, legal work to be had. The precarious path of illegal earnings never leads to good fortune.

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