Social Engineering Western Union Scam – The Role of a Money Mule

I am very interested in the way real-world attackers—rather than penetration testers—use social engineering techniques. Jerome Segura describes one such scam that entices the victim to send money using Western Union. What happens once the money is received? As Jerome puts it, “at the end of the trail there is a mule…

For another reference on the topic, take a look at the recent article by Brian Krebs, where he discusses how individuals are recruited to become money mules.

If you’re interested in my earlier thoughts on social engineering techniques used in the real world, take a look at the CSO article by Joan Goodchild that discussed my presentation on the topic: Social engineering techniques: 4 ways criminal outsiders get inside.

Lenny Zeltser


About the Author

Lenny Zeltser is a seasoned business and tech leader with extensive cybersecurity experience. He builds innovative endpoint defense solutions as VP of Products at Minerva Labs. Beforehand, he was responsible for security product management at NCR Corp. Lenny also trains incident response and digital forensics professionals at SANS Institute. An engaging presenter, he speaks at industry events, writes articles and has co-authored books. Lenny has earned the prestigious GIAC Security Expert designation, has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a Computer Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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