Posts Tagged ‘definitions’

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Term of the week: money mule

May 20, 2015

Money mules are often used to surfeit money or goods on behalf of third parties. The technique is used by a variety of criminals including terrorists, who use the method to transfer money to each other to finance operations. One book defines a money mule as:

A person who transfers money and/or reships valuable, fraudulently-obtained goods. The money mule is often an innocent person who is misled into acting as a go-between in a scam. The instigator is usually a criminal who operates with impunity from another country.

SecurityIntelligence.com reviewed common money mule schemes in an article last fall covering work-from-home, secret shopper, lottery and inheritance schemes:

Money mules are significant in the process of cashing out compromised financial accounts. A money mule is a person who receives and transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of others. Unknowing mules are likely recruited through online job advertisements and spam email. Job titles may include, but are not limited to, “mystery shopper,” “payment processing agent” or “money transfer agent.”

They also may be recruited through romance and lottery scams. Unknowing mules are vulnerable adults who are often older, lonely and potentially financially strapped. Fraudsters will start relationships with these individuals through online dating sites, social networking sites and/or job advertisement sites. The fraudster, acting as a predator, will attempt to cultivate a relationship with the victim based on lies.

Schemes that target unknowing participants are typically focused on employment and relationship scams. At some point, the victims of these schemes (particularly the employment scams) may become knowing, or at least half-suspecting, mules. They realize that they may be part of an illicit scheme but will continue to try to make money because of personal circumstances.

Read the rest of the SecurityIntelligence.com article here.

* Woodward, Jeannette, What Every Librarian Should Know about Electronic Privacy (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007).

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New glossary released

January 3, 2010

Bayt al-Mal?  FATF?  Ushr?  WTF?!

“Enough, already!” you’re thinking.  “Why must you torture me with all these bizarre terms?”

Worry no more.  If my posts get too hairy to follow, check out Money Jihad’s new glossary of counterterrorism and Islamic financial terms.  In order to keep it reasonably objective, the definitions are verbatim excerpts from established, mainline reference materials (with full attributions to the authors, of course).

There are still a lot of important words to add to the page—concepts like jizya, hawala, and riba—which I’ll start rolling out slowly by posting a new “word of the week” every Wednesday or so.  (And a special thanks to the reader who made this suggestion—you know who you are!)

Since it’s the namesake for this blog, I’d like to highlight just one of the terms in the glossary in today’s post—“money jihad.”  This excerpt from a great article (available on The Terror Finance Blog) written by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen is more of an explanation than a classic dictionary entry, but my goal with the glossary is to find descriptive definitions like this that are still succinct enough not to bore you.

Money jihad:

Funding the jihad, i.e., financial jihad, or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal, is mandated by many verses in the Qur’an, such as chapter 61, verses 10.11: ‘you . . . should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives,’ and chapter 49, verse 15: ‘The [true] believers are only those who . . . strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.’ This has been reiterated throughout Islamic history and in recent times. ‘Financial Jihad [is] . . . more important . . . than self-sacrificing,’ according to Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spiritual leader Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi.

Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni scholars in the world today, reiterated the legal justification for ‘financial jihad [Al-Jihad bi-al-Mal]’ in a lecture he gave on 4 May 2002 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to him, ‘collecting money for the mujahideen (jihad fighters . . . ) was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.’

If you want to know more about a word or concept that isn’t included (and some words just aren’t explained very well by the Googles, Wikipedias, and Dictionary.coms of the world), just contact me, and I’ll be happy to research it and share what I find out with this blog’s readers.