Money Mule Account Detection | XTN Cognitive Security


Respond in real-time to the money mule threat, minimizing the fraud analyst’s manual activity.

Keep your digital business safe from Money Muling with XTN Cognitive Security®:

  • Avoid Extra Operational Cost
  • Increase Trust
  • Comply with AML reg

Market Overview

Preventing Money Mule activity is a historical issue for financial institutions, but presently the problem is spreading faster than ever for several reasons. The critical job-loss situation caused by COVID 19 and the increase of digital onboarding procedures implies new challenges to identity verification processes and security check procedures. Also, new payment schemes like instant payment reduce the time for anti-fraud checks before the cash-out, and untraceable payment schemes like cryptocurrency make it harder to trace money flow.

What is it?

A Money Mule is a person who electronically transfers money acquired illegally on behalf of others, obtaining a commission for it. The illegal cash often originates from criminal activities such as phishing, malware attacks, eCommerce fraud, CEO fraud, to name but a few. A mule could be:

  • a fraudster
  • a person consciously colluded with a fraudster
  • a “person defrauded” by a fraudster
  • a compromised account

Money Mule accounts are banking accounts that Money Mules use to move illicit funds. Those accounts could be related to money laundering.

How does it work?

Money Mules usually transfer illegally obtained funds between banks, countries, currencies, or cryptocurrencies. Criminals recruit people as money mules to help launder proceeds derived from online scams and frauds or crimes like human trafficking and drug trafficking. Money mules add layers of distance between crime victims and criminals, making it harder for law enforcement to trace money trails accurately.

The challenge

Money Mules represent a critical threat to banking institutions since they pose both compliance issues and significant reputational damage. Being involved in a money-laundering operation could affect new customer acquisition rates, undermine share values, and introduce unexpected costs.

How we can help

At XTN Cognitive Security®, we believe that converging AML and fraud checks into a single solution offers multiple benefits, especially when dealing with money mules.

Our solution detects money mule activities during account creation and through analysis of existing accounts.

The XTN Money Mule Hunting solution covers the following main areas of analysis:

  • Fake accounts detection: we preventively detect fake and synthetic accounts.
  • Incoming payment anomalies: we identify anomalous patterns in the speed and volume of incoming payments. For example, we detect accounts that remain inactive for a long time and then suddenly become active, receiving numerous transactions from many different payers.
  • Outbound payment anomalies: we identify anomalous patterns in outgoing payments by comparing the volume of outgoing payments with the account balance. Often, after receiving the transactions, the fraudster empties the account by sending the money to a crypto wallet or foreign account.
Business Risks

Consequences of Money Muling can impact a digital business by:

• Operational Cost
• Reputational Damage
• Regulatory Violations
• Legal Liabilities


Have any question? We’d love to hear from you. 

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