Online scams are growing, and many of them are using money mules to withdraw or transfer illegally obtained funds.
Money mules are verified account owners of a bank or other financial accounts used by a third party to obscure the source of the stolen funds and keep their identity a secret. These mules usually receive a commission or a fee for the use of their accounts.
While money mules are often aware of their involvement in deceitful activities, others do not know they are already part of a criminal scheme.
Recently, a new form of money mule is surfacing where fraudsters go to impoverished areas and tell people they can earn money if they register to GCash using their phones.
“These individuals ignore all the warning signs that this is an illegal activity, but the worst thing is they no longer possess the actual accounts. The scammers can do anything they want with the accounts and not be liable for the consequences,” said Ingrid Berona, Chief Risk Officer at GCash.
To fight the problem, GCash rejects or proactively bars accounts detected to be used for mule activity. It has blocked 780,000 accounts due to identity fraud including money mule issues since January this year.
GCash also works with law enforcement agencies to arrest fraudsters encouraging money mule activity. The most recent was an entrapment operation carried out through a collaboration of the Philippine National Police, Globe, and GCash, which led to the arrest of a person selling over 500 GCash-registered SIM cards.
To learn more about GCash, visit www.gcash.com.