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Home » Hacking News » Mules sought via e-mail for easy money scheme

Mules sought via e-mail for easy money scheme

by Nikola Strahija on June 6th, 2005 So-called "money mules" attracted by a spam e-mail campaign may find themselves in jail, instead of earning money, according to security firm Sophos.

Paul Ducklin, head of technology for Asia-Pacific, said an e-mail, which was discovered by SophosLabs over the weekend, lured potential victims to a Web site offering them the opportunity to apply for the positions of 'transaction manager,' 'stay-at-home assistant' or 'home manager'.

Those who sign up are asked to perform banking transactions on behalf of a shady third party, accepting a deposit into an account before sending it out of the country via an anonymous wire transfer or a physical handover of the cash.

"In return, the mule gets to keep a percentage of the original deposit. The reason why the mule is needed is that cash or wire-transfer transactions usually require traceable consent by the sender, because they are irreversible. " Ducklin said.

Ducklin told the scheme appeared to be specifically targeting Australian e-mail in-boxes. It offered 10 percent for every transfer to and from an individual's account. He said the 10 percent scheme was quite well set up as the Web site to which potential mules were directed had clearly been given a professional look. Australians should be careful when examining such offers, Ducklin said. "If it sounds too good to be true, then by definition it is too good to be true".

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