Bank account warning as 'competitions and raffles' could see Britons lured into crime

They have offered consumer guidance about how to avoid becoming a money mule and the serious consequences of doing so. A money mule is a person who is recruited, sometimes unsuspectingly, by criminals to gain access to their bank account with the promise of financial gain.

A money mule is a person who is recruited, sometimes unsuspectingly, by criminals to gain access to their bank account with the promise of financial gain.

Fraudsters usually target teenagers, young people and vulnerable people to be money mules.

They often offer them phones, games consoles or other high value items in exchange for their legitimate bank account numbers and passwords.

Once the criminal has access to a legitimate bank account – they can then use it for fraudulent activity.

READ MORE: Inheritance tax: Sunak to rake in £90billion with wealth duties in ‘nightmare for families

Unsuspecting consumers are then lured into a scam and transfer money to the bank account of the mule.

The fraudsters, through money muling, have control of the account and will immediately move the money, take it out in cash or give to someone else.

The net result is the same – the money simply disappears, and a victim of this crime is left feeling violated.

Metro Bank offer these tips to avoid being a money mule:
• Be wary of strangers contacting you about your bank account
• Never give away your bank details and security information
• Only use your bank account for your legitimate transactions
• Offers of easy money are always too good to be true, don’t fool for it!

See also  Raiding the pot: how the pandemic has deepened the pensions crisis

Money muling is a type of money laundering and people can be liable by association.

Even if the person whose bank account is being used is unaware that the money being transferred was illegally obtained, they have still played an important role in facilitating the fraud and can be prosecuted for their part in the scam.

Criminals often target and recruit people through social media platforms, by using fake job adverts or via social media posts.

Adam Speakman, head of fraud and investigations at Metro Bank, said: “Consumers should be wary of job adverts, get rich quick schemes offering instant returns, and even some competitions and raffles.

“If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“Fraud is not a victimless crime; the victim is always left feeling violated.”

He continued: “Consumers who are duped into, or knowingly participate in, money muling are facilitating fraud, a crime.

“Not only are they unlikely to receive any monies promised, but also their bank account will be closed.

“They will struggle to get another one or other types of credit.”

In 2020, UK banks identified 8,791 money mule accounts owned by people under the age of 21.

With each new school / university year beginning in the autumn, this brings new targets for the fraudsters, but anyone can be targeted.

Cifas fraud protection conducted research in 2020 and found an increase in money muling activity in those aged under 30.

This representing 64 percent of accounts facilitating fraud by receiving fraudulent funds.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here