Sky News reports that criminals are six times more likely to target individuals under 25 than those over 50 using social media platforms
What is Money Muling?
Money muling is one of the newest forms of money laundering. Criminal's transfer money to individuals looking to make quick and easy money. The victim has to receive the money and transfer it onto a different account, or they have to take it out of an ATM and pass it on to someone.
Utilizing a money mule is a type of illegal tax avoidance. It is one of the manners lawbreakers can use to make their gains hard to follow. Typically it works by a cash donkey consenting to share their bank subtleties so that money can be kept into their record to adhere to guidelines to send it into another ledger. Fraudsters regularly target individuals who don't have a past filled with crime to cause these exchanges to appear to be less dubious to banks. You won't know where the cash is coming from or where. However, it may be utilized to subsidize drugs, youngster dealing or even psychological warfare.
We're not doing a good job of deterring you so far, right? Free, easy and quicky money sounds like the dream! But we're here to rain all over your criminal parade- if it sounds too good to be true, you should treat it like it probably is
If you assist a criminal in money laundering, you become an accomplice in their crime, even if you have no idea what it is. So, if the person offering you the get rich quick scheme isn't willing to divulge exactly how they made their money (we'll be honest, it's going to be hard to find one that is), then you're entering into a criminal act completely unaware of just how severe a crime you're committing.
So, if you're giving strangers access with the promise of wealth and fortune, you could become an accomplice and be implicated in obstructing justice. So really, you're better off banking on certain jail time than certain prosperity.
How are victims targeted?
It's important to note that even though we're using the term 'victim,' the justice system will not see individuals who participate in money muling schemes the same way.
We're educating you on the signs because it's unlikely that the criminals who want to cleanse their money through your bank account will describe the process in the same way we did.
The most common approach is through job offers formulated to look entirely legitimate. They're going to be amongst actual jobs on reputable websites under names like 'money transfer agents', although they will switch up the names (we'll keep you updated).
Criminals might message you directly on social media or by email- they'll promise you quick and easy money with minimal effort. Beware! They might become your friend first to establish trust.
Lastly, they may just approach you in the street. Likely they're looking for a one-off payment, but this is just as criminal and dangerous as several transfers.
Occasionally, scammers advertise money mule jobs with dodgy "make money from your own home" job listings. The thing potential money mules won't hear is how easy it is for your bank to hold a transaction like that and the consequences of being caught attempting to launder money.
So, who is in danger?
Everyone. No one is safe from criminals (duh!) But certain groups are being targeted more persistently than others. These include newcomers to a country (those who might need financial aid or are less clued up about this scam), unemployed people, students, and those experiencing money problems.
With the age range for getting a current account lowering, criminals are targeting young vulnerable banking customers from 11 to 21.
What to look out for:
Fake Job Offers:
• Money mule adverts are often exact copies of genuine job adverts. They also go so far as to duplicate websites and create similar contact information to seem more legit.
• If they're not copying other job adverts, there may be many spelling and grammar errors, and they may be poorly written. The sender will likely have a personal rather than company email address.
• They may term frame the role as a 'representative' or 'agent' role and explain that they are an overseas company.
• Lack of specific job duties, including money transfer or good.
• No listed educational or experience requirements.
• Remote working-everything will be done online from home
These don't all indicate money muling, but many of them are red flags all the same! Be vigilant online
Promises of Instant Cash:
• A stranger asks you to move money through your account and promises you a commission.
• The opportunity as sold as a way to make easy money, risk-free same-day cash.
• You will be asked for your bank account number, even if they don't need to use your account
We've outlined the major risks and highlighted what to look out for, but a more in-depth source can be found here: public awareness and prevention guides
Report the account for illegal activity as soon as you are contacted through social media, and hopefully, it will prevent someone else from falling victim to a similar scam. ActionFraud also has a reporting system that you can use to report suspected criminal activity. If you have any doubt about someone's trustworthiness, don't share your account details.
For more information on new scams and how to avoid them, visit Financial Fraud Action UK's Scam Academy.
If you intentionally allow your account details to be used for fraud, you could be sentenced to 14 years in prison. According to the Metropolitan Police, they will focus on finding and prosecuting those who are using money mules as opposed to those who are conned into becoming them.
Being a money mule has repercussions. The accounts of former mules have been closed, making it difficult for them to reopen them. It is possible for the company to see a flag attached to their name when they go to get a new account, loan, or credit card, and it could influence their decision to approve you.
Information in this publication is provided for general information only, and it does not purport to include every aspect of the topics with which it deals. You should not take it as advice. Prior to taking, or refraining from taking, any action based on the content of this publication, you should seek professional or specialist advice. Kixy LTD or its affiliates are not rendering legal, tax or other advice through the content of this publication. A similar outcome is not guaranteed. The content in the publication does not represent, warrant or guarantee, either expressly or impliedly, that it is current, accurate, complete, or up-to-date.