Phishers recruiting money mules

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Phishers are recruiting money laundering "mules" in the UK with "make-money-at-home" offers tendered via email, said a security firm this week.

Phishers are recruiting money laundering "mules" in the UK with "make-money-at-home" offers tendered via email, said a security firm this week.

According to Sophos, a UK-based anti-virus vendor, messages titled "Work From Home: Prepare to Succeed" have been mass-mailed by phishing gangs looking for people to wash ill-gotten gains by moving funds into and out of their bank accounts.

Recruits receive money in their accounts, then transfer the funds to another account via Western Union wire transfers.

"You will be paid according to accomplished work " 10 percent from the sum of each money transfer," one of the emails reads.

The come-on claimed that respondents would process one or two transfers each week, and that the amounts would range from £2000 to £2500.

"[This is] obviously tempting, but computer users need to make sure they don't fall for this scam," said Graham Cluley, a Sophos senior technology consultant, in a statement. "Not only will they be assisting a criminal gang, they may find themselves suspected of fraud.

This is like agreeing to help out at a taxi firm only to discover later you were a getaway driver for a bank robbery."

In May, a dozen suspected phishing money launderers were arrested in the UK by the National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), the country's cyber-crime squad. Four of them, two men and two women, from Russia, Estonia, and Ukraine, were charged in criminal court in mid-October, and now await trial.

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