According to Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) organised criminals are using new methods â€“ such as social media â€“ to recruit members of the public to act as unsuspecting money launderers.
Money mules are often recruited by fraudsters to receive money into their bank account, then withdraw the money and wire it overseas, minus a commission payment.
The mules are told that they are taking a legitimate job using such titles as â€˜money transfer agentâ€™. Acting as a money mule is illegal and allows organised crime groups to move funds easily the world. If you are caught doing this you can face a prison sentence and the prospect of never again being able to secure a mortgage or open a bank account.
Traditionally, money mules were recruited through job adverts and online postings or sometimes through criminals directly approaching their victim in person or through email.Â
According to FFA UKâ€™s recent intelligence fraudsters are now targeting people through social media. This includes Facebook posts on closed groups, or messages sent through instant messaging apps such as BBM, which typically encourage people to contact the sender if they hold a particular bank account.
The FFAUKâ€™s intelligence also suggests that students are most susceptible to the crime, as well as some newcomers to the UK who are often directly targeted soon after arriving in the country.
Read more on the Financial Fraud Action UK website.
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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.