Young people can become money mules unwittingly. They may think they’re giving out their bank details for a genuine reason, then end up involved in “money mule fraud”.
What is a money mule?
A money mule is a person who transfers stolen money on behalf of others, usually through their bank account. Criminals contact people and offer them cash to receive money into their bank account and transfer it to another account. This person is known as a ‘money mule’.
What is the money used for?
The money that money mules transfer is usually stolen, it’s used to fund lots of different crimes, like drug dealing, sexual exploitation, frauds and scams, human trafficking and even terrorism.
Why would someone become a money mule?
Criminals often target vulnerable people who are likely to be in need of money, but many students have also been approached. Sometimes they do not realise they have committed a crime.
How do criminals target money mules?
You might be approached by fraudsters online or in person. They might post what looks like a genuine job ad, then ask for your bank details. They also use social media to find a suitable target by befriending them.
Once you become a money mule, it can be hard to stop. You could be attacked or threatened with violence if you don’t continue to let your account be used by criminals.
Don’t Be Fooled by offers of quick cash.
Criminals need money mules to launder the profits of their crimes.
How are money mules caught?
Banks have systems in place to detect suspicious activity, authorities are then identified.
- Your bank account will be closed
- You will have problems applying for credit
- You will find it hard to access further student loans
- You will find it difficult to get a phone contract
- You could go to prison for up to 14 years
How can I avoid money mule schemes?
- Be wary of strangers contacting you on social media
- Do not give out your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them
- Be wary of offers of easy money
Learn more: nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/moneymuling