Security researchers have identified a new trend of lucrative and illegal conversion of Bitcoin into cash by analyzing dozens of obscure online markets and forums.
Financial scammers sell cold cash for only 10 to 12 cents to buyers who want to pay prepaid fees at Bitcoin, according to a new black market report for the third quarter of 2019 from the Armor’s Threat Resistance Unit.
Avoid risks of Detection
In the money laundering system, cybercriminals offer cash packages, usually from $2,500 to $10,000, in exchange for a fee of 10% to 12% paid to Bitcoin.
After making a cryptocurrency transfer, the buyer gives details of the bank account, PayPal or Western Union to which the money is to be sent.
It is an extremely simple turnkey service that offers buyers very high returns on illegal purchases and eliminates the need for a mule with money or the risk of connecting to compromised accounts.
According to the report, money mules are agents who transfer unexpected funds from one account to another for a fee of 10 to 20% of the value. These entities often open expensive bank accounts so that companies can avoid attracting attention in the case of high-value transactions.
In particular, this conversion system benefits those who sell stolen funds because they avoid taking ownership of funds and only transfer them, which means that the buyer is at a higher risk.
A very interesting offer
According to Chris Hinkley, a money laundering expert for scammers who do not have the technical skills and a strong network of mules to capitalize on the stolen financial credentials this is an offer that can be very attractive. This intelligent service gives them an additional channel to monetize large amounts of financial data available underground.
As already mentioned, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently stated that cash is not laundered to the same extent as Bitcoin, stating that the government wanted to prevent cryptocurrency from becoming equivalent to Swiss bank accounts.
The journalists were skeptical about Mnuchin’s position and replied that his argument was essentially, and somewhat illogical as though the current financial system was never used to launder money.