Social Engineering as a fraudulent pattern with money transferring involved usually passes off with fraudsters tricking innocent people into registering for a service using their valid ID. The victims' account is then overtaken by the fraudster and used to generate value by withdrawing money or making online transfers.
As opposed to Money Mules, victims of social engineering are not aware that their actions may have legal consequences. In fact, their collaboration with the fraudster is not as apparent as they get involved through psychological manipulation. They are being tricked into opening accounts, for example, through job advertisements, which looks like the actual work arrangement at first glance. Other examples involve applying for a loan. The users are then convinced that the credit can be only issued under specific conditions, which usually contains opening an account with a financial institution and later passing the credentials to the fraudsters.
As a result of Social Engineering, the criminal gains access to the freshly created bank account, which may result in further financial malversations in the victim’s name. The scammer will therefore remain undetected, and the whole liability will be passed to the unaware person.
More info in our latest blog article: Understanding ‘Money Mules’ – an interview with IDnow fraud specialists