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This girl that I'm friends with and have actually seen in person before, keeps posting [on social media] that she "loves when the transfer goes through" and gets $2000-$6000 for free quite often. She said you can make up to $6500 a day. She is not very smart and barely spells correctly. She keeps saying that all she is doing is "transfers" and that's it. So many of my friends are feeding into this crap. So I asked her what it is. She basically said "it's legit" and asked me for my bank username and password so she could see how much money to deposit into my account. I said no way and left it at that. She also said she is not stealing or doing anything illegal. She is getting her friends free money and I think they're naive. What is she actually doing? Is it illegal? I am sure she is incapable of doing crazy money wiring to different countries.

Thank you everyone for answering my question. I am not stupid, I did not give her my information. I knew she was up to something illegal, so thank you for giving me some input on what exactly she is doing. I submitted an anonymous tip to my local sheriff's department. I'm hoping they see it and pursue it, or forward it to the right authorities I.e the FBI or something.

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    Tl;dr: This is not a friend. Run. – keshlam May 13 '16 at 8:23
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    "asked me for my bank username and password"... yeah, sounds legit... – Anton Banchev May 13 '16 at 10:17
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    I think FinCEN would be very interested to speak to your friend.. – Sycorax says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 14:55
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    This is 100 percent a scam as explained by multiple other posters, but it does open a way to make money. Reward money posted by law enforcement and victimized banks. I suggest you try to collect, making an appointment with the relevant authorities. – Andrew Lazarus May 13 '16 at 15:05
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    "She posted a video of her counting hundreds." -- I just got paid today. I could post a video of me counting hundreds of dollars. It doesn't prove I make that money every day! It could also be fake money (look up 50 Cent, the rapper, and see his fake millions he posted pictures of online). -- I once got a personal loan to buy a relatively expensive item, and the bank gave me cash. I was a lot younger then, but I did pose for pictures with thousands of dollars thrown on the ground and me laying in it. Was funny at the time... just stupid in hindsight. – SnakeDoc May 13 '16 at 20:58
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She is laundering money for criminals, either knowingly or unknowingly.

There are lots of ways to make a fraudulent money transfer from an account one does not own. Stolen credit card numbers, direct debit fraud, phished PayPal logins or online banking trojans are some examples.

Unfortunately (for the criminals) when a customer informs their bank that someone made a transfer from their account they did not authorize, then the bank will usually reverse that transfer and inform the authorities. So criminals can not directly wire these transfers into their personal accounts. The stolen money would disappear and they would get caught.

That's where so-called "mules" come in. Mules are people who are hired by criminals to receive such dirty money and move it to a different account controlled by the criminals. When the transfer gets reversed, two things happen:

  1. The transfer from victim to mule gets reversed, but not the transfer from mule to criminal, so the mule loses their money while the criminal keeps theirs. That means the person who is the actual victim in the scheme is the mule.
  2. Law enforcement gets suspicious of the mule and might knock on their door.

Your "friend" is either one of these mules or is in the business of recruiting mules.

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    So why doesn't the bank ever reverse the mule->criminal transaction? – user253751 May 13 '16 at 10:04
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    @immibis in many (most?) cases the mule doesn't perform the transfer using a bank but rather some other method (mail, western union). This is particularly often done using checks which bounce. I.e. someone sends you a 1k check and says he just wants you to send 200 back to him after you deposit it. You deposit it get 1k and send 200 back when the check bounces you're 200 down. – DRF May 13 '16 at 10:09
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    @immibis If you (mule) are using your real account with real credentials and deliberately authorizing the transfer (to criminal) then there is no unauthorized transaction to reverse. From the bank's perspective they only reverse unauthorized transactions; you (mule) explicitly authorized and approved the transaction, which gives relatively little recourse under both T&Cs and laws in most scenarios. – Flexo May 13 '16 at 10:38
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    Presumably if you (mule) want to report the criminal has having defrauded you, for example if you say that the transfer was in return for money that wasn't delivered because it got reversed, then in principle the mule->criminal transfer could be reversed too. But in practice, saying "my accomplice didn't hold up their end of our joint criminal enterprise" doesn't count from the bank's POV as consumer fraud against you, and unlawful contracts/agreements generally can't be upheld anyway... – Steve Jessop May 13 '16 at 10:53
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    Biggest clue it's a scam is she asked for other peoples bank usernames and passwords, to "see how much money to transfer". Not only does this not make sense, but to transfer money, you only need a routing number and account number. Gaining access to someone's online banking allows you to SEND money out of the account... So, it's possible this "friend" is logging into other "friend's" accounts and transferring their money. – SnakeDoc May 13 '16 at 20:56
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What is she actually doing? Is it illegal?

She is running some kind of scam and it is illegal. Quite often these are fronts. Generally people get suspicious if they haven't seen anyone. So you social engineer and someone like this girl would boost in her circle. The fact that she is making $6500 a day is unverified claim. I can say I make 1 million a day :)

There is no free money. It is wise of you not to share your Bank details. Stay away as far as possible.

Note depending on the country and regulation you could be in trouble with authorities for even knowing / suspecting that someone is committing fraud and not informing authorities.

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    "never attribute to malice that, which is adequately explained by stupidity" - but basically +1 it's no possible way this is legit. – s1lv3r May 13 '16 at 10:02
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    @s1lv3r: yeah, you can on that principle reserve judgement as to whether she understands what she's doing, but somebody involved in this scheme understands it. No way are some people shuffling money around in a way that leaves her with some of it, and everyone involved is merely stupid. – Steve Jessop May 13 '16 at 10:57
  • She showed a video of her counting hundreds. So she really has the money. I want to report her to the police but that's a lot of stress on me. I don't want them to keep bugging me I just want to report her so they can pursue it. – Autumn Thompson May 13 '16 at 16:51
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    @AutumnThompson Without ANY kind of scam... lemme pass by my bank, empty my account, and you'll have videos of me counting 1K bills instead of hundreds. Doesn't mean I acquired that money the way I say I have... just means I have the money. – Patrice May 13 '16 at 20:10
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    @Patrice: It even just means you have the cash. Doesn't have to mean you actually own that money. Get a loan, cash it out, count the bills on camera, pay it back before interest builds up. :-P – das-g May 14 '16 at 12:00
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She claimed that she makes money. When you wanted to make some too, she asked for your account credentials - which are only needed to take money away, never to give.

The simplest explanation would be loan scam: Even if you have only $10 on your account, you can lose much more - the trick is that someone using your credentials can take an online loan in your name, and steal that money. If the scheme is long-running, she'll be taking new loans and using the money to pay back the earlier ones, building up credit history for her victims - only to allow taking even bigger loans. Her victims see the incoming transfers and are happy about the scheme "working". Until she decides that the pot is big enough to cash it in and disappear, leaving everyone deep in debt.

Those who fell for this could be already defaulting loans they have no idea about and the loan companies have no way of notifying them, because she redirected the contact details.

Never reveal your password. Nobody needs your password for any legitimate purpose.

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    mint.com needs my password for a legitimate purpose. but i suppose that is arguably a "nobody" – james turner May 13 '16 at 20:25
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    @jamesturner Truthfully, I'd be careful about services like Mint. If they lose your password, there's nothing your bank can do for you. – Aza May 14 '16 at 1:16
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    Mint requests your password? I would be very, very uncomfortable giving a company access to my bank account like that. It's a pretty clear use case for a modular authorization scheme like OAuth. – Paul May 14 '16 at 11:19
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    @Paul: Somewhere around here there is an explanation of how Mint works, but basically they use a service that talks to the bank, and most of the banks don't talk OAuth (although I agree that they should, and have complained to my credit union that they don't). So, in a sense it isn't their fault, but is even worse than you thought... – jmoreno May 15 '16 at 6:30
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    @jamesturner If it can log in and parse the HTML, it's capabable of accepting you copy-pasting the part you want to share. Giving away your bank password is like painting room with explosives - sometimes it may work, but there are sane ways of doing it. – Agent_L May 16 '16 at 8:11
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This will end badly, the only question is how long it will take.

Performing bank transfers is not difficult and there is no way a 3rd party would be paying her large sums of money to perform these transfers unless the purpose was illegitimate and they were taking advantage of her.

In my experience it is as simple as entering the target bank account routing and account #, entering the name (this is not double-checked by the bank to associate with the target account), entering a dollar amount and then agreeing to the terms of the transfer--there are not people out there who have a lot of money but would rather pay somebody $2000+ to do 2 minutes of work in an unofficial capacity instead of just doing it themselves unless they are trying to hide something and/or take advantage of a mark.

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    Doing the transfer is likely less effort than emailing her to tell her to do it. Nobody pays clean money for work that doesn't need to be done. – Basic May 16 '16 at 21:57
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They will pay, that's for sure. It's something common in many countries. Sometimes it is stolen money like Philipp said. Sometimes is money from mafia or terrorist groups that needs to be transferred so they use naive people whose profile wouldn't be suspicious if they get sums of money. They will look your past transactions to determine the amount of money they could transfer to you without alerting someone. Why?

Because lets say you are a criminal. If you sell 10 kilos of cocaine, some bombs or girls for prostitution and receive the money lets say one million dollars in just one deposit in one bank account, someone will be knocking at your door very soon, it will be easy to prove the illegal source of the founds and you get nothing.

If you have 25 guys working for you and they receive transfers and deposits of less amount frequently, from let's say 150 different accounts belonging to account holders with no criminal record. It is harder to be noticed and you could say they are legal activities (15000 a month received from entrepreneurs or 2500 from a housewife is not too much). It will be harder to prove that all the transactions come from illegal money and by the time it is proven usually the money has already gone somewhere else (by using another network of mules like your friend's).

I don't know the laws where you are, but this is illegal in many countries. If you enter they won't let you out of the network, and when something goes wrong you will need to explain a lot.

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