European campaign against financial “mules” was held from 14 to 18 November 2016 jointly in 15 Member States of the European Union. It has been executed for the second time within the year.
Financial “mule” is a natural person who transfers illegally obtained money between different payment accounts, often in different countries, while earning a commission payment for this activity.
The campaign, held in Bulgaria by the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office was actively supported by the ABB. Within this campaign financial mules were identified and punitive actions were carried out against them. The banking sector supports the efforts of the police and prosecutors and contributes to limit such fraudulent practices by preventing and detecting these crimes.
The ABB believes that cooperation between public authorities and private sector at European level is crucial in combating financial mules as criminals often operate cross-border. Therefore, the Association of Banks in Bulgaria has partnered successfully with law enforcement in Bulgaria and at European level in order to conduct information campaigns on the risks and threats associated with financial mules. These campaigns aim to help citizens, mainly Internet users, to distinguish suspicious and potentially dangerous announcements that seek to recruit mules, promising easy profits. One of the main means to prevent this kind of crime is to increase awareness which can be achieved by various institutions and organizations’ collaboration and partnership.
The prevention and interruption of these criminal practices is an effective way to combat cyber crime, since, according to Europol, 95% of the transactions conducted with the help of financial mules are a result of this criminal activity. In addition, very often the funds are intended to finance other criminal activities and to do money laundering.
How to protect yourself and what you should do in case you get an email with questionable content requesting for personal information, for example, your bank account, or in case you have suspicions that someone is trying to involve you in illegal activities – refer to the information brochures and videos below that provide more details about money muling.
More information on this topic can be found at www.cybercrime.bg