Alert on mule accounts.


Alert on mule accounts

In recent years, the use for criminal purposes of current accounts have raised, being this accounts known as “mule accounts”, as they are used as an intermediary to collect money with illicit or fraudulent origin in order to send it to another destination, generally in the framework of broader money laundering operations.

Sometimes, the accounts are opened by the criminals themselves, using stolen personal data– via (smashing, phishing, or through social engineering techniques)-, without the person in whose name the account is opened knowing it.  But also, more and more frequently, there are people who volunteer to carry out these operations, either voluntarily giving their data to criminals, or directly opening themselves accounts at credit institutions or other payment providers, and later, giving access to them to the criminals, or even directly carrying out the operations on their accounts obeying the instructions of the criminals.

It is necessary to warn about this type of practices – very often developed by young people – since giving access to personal data or a personal account itself to carry out these operations of entry and exit of funds that could later be associated with illicit purposes It is considered as at the same criminal level as if it is the criminal organization itself the one who uses it  for its benefit.

According to that:

  • – Never give other people your personal data and/or passwords to operate an account opened in your name, since it will almost certainly be used for criminal purposes, being you considered responsible when the movements are investigated.
  • – Never carry out operations in your personal bank account following the instructions of unknown people.
  • – Do not trust jobs that ask you to be the owner of an account and make it available to the company´s use.
  • – Do not give your personal data in exchange for a price, as it will almost certainly be used to commit crimes.
  • – Be very careful when you give your personal data to other people, avoiding providing personal information (name, identification, addresses, etc.) or your bank account number to strangers on social networks or other public media. And if you have given them, and you think they may have been used, report it to the authorities.
  • – Do not click on links you receive via email, SMS or instant messaging posing as your bank. Banks never ask for personal or banking information through these channels and, in case of doubt, contact your entity.
  • – And notify the authorities as soon as you become aware of the existence of a bank account that you have not contracted. Think that they could have stolen your data and impersonated you.

Sepblac cooperates with other public institutions, such as Banco de España, through different financial education actions, in order to alert about this type of risks.  In this sense, more detail on this can be found at the post about  mule accounts (in Spanish only), published at the  Portal del Cliente Bancario de Banco de España, that is part of the initiatives developed in this PPP against money laundering and fraud

Alert on mule accounts.