Are you targeted as a money mule?


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    What if you were told that you could make some serious money in seconds? Imagine this: You are being offered hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds for minimal hassle. It’s a dream come true. You could spend it abroad for the vacation you have always dreamed of. You can finally buy the car that you have in mind. It might even be the last bit of money you need to put the security deposit on your dream home.

    All you have to do is give your bank details to someone so they can deposit a large amount of money into your account. After that, you simply have to transfer it to another account and receive a percentage in return for the transaction. Sounds like easy money doesn’t it?

    Not correct. It seems like a way to get rich quick, but that would make you a junk of money. Using a money mule is a form of money laundering and could get you into serious trouble. Using you as a middleman will make it harder to track down criminals and put you in the line of fire for law enforcement. It’s a serious crime and it can lead to a criminal record.

    Who can be targeted as a money mule?

    Scammers target young people in particular. Under 25s are six times more likely to be victims. This is due to the use of social media as a method of recruiting money mules. Teens are also less likely to realize that their actions are illegal.

    Action Fraud suggests that in 2020 there were nearly 18,000 cases of money muling involving 21-30 year olds, up 5% from 2019. This demographic makes up 42% of all money muling. Muling activities.

    Criminals have used the pandemic to get people to do their dirty work. After rising unemployment, layoffs and leave of absence, the promise of quick money appeals to more people – not just young people. Katy Worobec, UK Finance General Manager, said: “Criminals are cruelly hunting down Generation Covid and those struggling to find work during this troubled time, and using fake job advertisements to recruit people into money mules.

    Social media posts with wads of banknotes labeled with lines like “Message me to make £ 5,000 today!” are also used to attract people. Posts promising students money to help them fund their university and guarantees that have no consequences are also making the rounds on the internet.

    You may also receive text messages and emails letting you know that you owe a tax refund. Fake debt relief companies are also widespread. They promise to pay off debts simply by transferring money from one bank account to another. Romance scams are another common way to trick you into becoming a money mule.

    But don’t be fooled, it doesn’t just target young people. A recent poll by Barclays found that seven out of ten people were unaware of the consequences of money muling. It is important to be aware of this to make sure that you are not being misled into complicity in a crime, no matter how old you are.

    What are the consequences of being a money mule?

    If you are found guilty of complicity in money laundering as a mule, you face up to 14 years in prison – even if you are an unsuspecting victim. It can also cause your bank account to close and you may have trouble getting credit in the future. If you can’t get credit, you may have problems buying or renting an apartment, or even getting a cell phone contract.

    This Is Money recently told of three college students who were sentenced to 38 months in prison in 2019 after helping launder nearly 65,000 pounds stolen from a woman in her eighties via an online scam.

    If you aim to study in the future, it will also affect your chances of getting a student loan.

    How can you protect yourself and others?

    In the digital age, knowing what to do when you think you are being targeted or you have fallen victim is imperative. It is becoming increasingly important to know what to look out for to avoid falling for a money mule scam.

    Here are our top tips:

    • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you are offered a true dream amount of money with the promise that there will be “no catch,” you may be tempted to become a money mule.
    • Do not participate in ads or social media posts that offer large sums of money. Ignore it and report it.
    • If you think you have already been a victim, report this directly to your bank. You can also report the incident to Action Fraud and will be asked to contact Crimestoppers.
    • If you see a job advertisement that offers large sums of money for minimal effort, report it to the job board.
    • If you received a job offer, do some research on the company and make sure all contact details are real.
    • Do not give your bank details to anyone you do not know or whom you do not trust.
    • If you receive a text message or email claiming to be your bank, HMRC, or any other organization claiming you are owed money, call the organization directly. Do not click any of the links or call any of the phone numbers provided.

    Usefull links:

    Top Scams And How To Protect Yourself From It

    Here’s how to avoid the latest nifty scams

    Top 12 vacation rip-offs and scams

    The latest Covid-19 scams


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