Prepaid Cards Said To Be Taking On A Bigger Fraud Role

Prepaid cards are replacing human money movers, known as mules, as crooks increasingly are turning to the plastic to commit fraud, Tom Willis, director of consultancy Ontrack Advisory, said in a recent interview.

In the interview with Information Security Media Group, Willis noted that prepaid cards offer less risk, and they are less expensive, than using mules to move illicit funds. Money mules have a short shelf life, whereas prepaid cards do not, Wills said.

"Money mules are a key link in this overall fraud chain," Wills said in the interview. "For the crime bosses, money mules are people, so they're messy and they're hard to manage. The banks have monitoring systems that detect patterns and anomalies. Once those detection systems kick in, then new mules have to be recruited."

To help curtail prepaid fraud, Visa recently completed technical development of a new service aimed at detecting and preventing fraud schemes that target use of prepaid cards.

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