When looking for a way to supplement cash flow, most people look for a side hustle. What is a side hustle? A side hustle can range from selling your extra housewares on Craigslist, eBay, etc., to baking and selling seasonal pumpkin bread. When I was younger, one of my side hustles was working for the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000. (Yes, I am that old.) I was doing it to supplement my European backpacking adventure. My side hustle proved successful. I was able to save enough money to achieve my goal and I spent a marvelous handful of weeks trekking across Europe.
There is a plethora of reasons why people look for a side hustle: Some people need extra money for school, a car, a vacation, a loved one, to pay for medical bills and the list goes on. So, let us consider the enticing side hustle offered by criminals. Criminals present victims with opportunities to make side money through seemingly simple activities and it is this simplicity that acts as the bait. The individual thinks it will be quick and easy. They act and are quickly caught up in criminal schemes. These unsuspecting individuals are then turned into money mules used by criminal masterminds to transfer and move illicit funds. Money mules should be of great concern to financial institutions (FIs) as money mules can range from your average businessperson to a student. The headline article Stop the Money Mules, Protect Your Financial Institution covers 21st century money mules, which are used by criminals in e-crimes to structure their ill-gotten gains. It outlines the root of the problem for FIs and how information sharing programs could be the key to stopping money mules.
In addition to the headline article in this edition of ACAMS Today, another informative initiative that brings awareness to the money mule problem is the FBI’s program of “Don’t Be a Mule.” This program explains the tactics criminals use to recruit money mules and the consequences of becoming one.
The second headline article featured on the cover addresses the cannabis industry and the importance of managing the banking risks and rewards of hemp, hemp-derived CBD and marijuana.
Other notable articles in this issue include Biometrics in the Age of GDPR, A Call for Better Cybercrime Investigation, Smaller Banks, Higher Risks? and a moving interview with Barbara Martinez who has spent her entire career advocating for human trafficking victims and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Separately, this year we are celebrating 25 years of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) Hollywood conference. We are grateful to all our members and conference attendees who have consistently attended, given of their time and contributed to the continuous growth of this conference. We hope to see you frequently in the coming years at this conference or at one of ACAMS’ many global conferences.
Remember, when it comes to a side hustle, if it sounds too good to be true it may very well be.
Karla Monterrosa-Yancey, CAMS
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