Cybercriminals recruit unwitting accomplices to launder cash via electronic transfer.
Ads that offered the opportunity to “Make $$$ working from home” once were stapled to telephone poles. Today, they’re posted in internet chats, online job boards and social media. They promise big payouts from a few hours of work. The payouts are real, but the work isn’t. The ads seek money launderers, known in the world of cybercrime as “money mules.” The era of the amateur criminal has begun.
Big theft is no longer the sole territory of art forgers, safecrackers or even seasoned hackers. In the 2018 film “Ocean’s 8,” a crew of sophisticated criminals plan an elaborate scheme to steal a $150 million diamond necklace from a fundraising gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In real life, last July the U.S. charged Ramon Abbas, a Nigerian Instagrammer known as “Hushpuppi,” with participating in a plot to steal $124 million.
To read the full Wall Street Journal article by Gary M. Shiffman, please click here.
Mr. Shiffman, a former chief of staff of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies. He is the founder of Giant Oak and Consilient and author of “The Economics of Violence: How Behavioral Science Can Transform Our View of Crime, Insurgency and Terrorism.”