Number of Young UK Money Mules Doubles Since 2013
There has been a 75% increase in the misuse of bank accounts by young people to launder criminally obtained funds, according to new stats from Cifas.
The fraud prevention service claimed to have recorded 8652 cases between January and September 2017 — a big rise over the same period last year.
So-called “money mules” allow criminals to use their bank accounts to transfer their ill-gotten gains, helping to obfuscate the trail for investigators.
Most are told to withdraw the funds and wire them internationally, receiving a small sum in return for doing so.
Many take part in such schemes unaware they are doing anything illegal, which has prompted Cifas and government body Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) to kick start a new awareness raising campaign: Don’t Be Fooled.
Cifas argued that many young people are approached by cyber-criminals with what appears to be a genuine job offer and the opportunity to earn some much-needed extra cash.
However, by agreeing they could be unwittingly fuelling global terrorism, people trafficking and sexual exploitation, the non-profit warned.
Money laundering also carries a maximum jail sentence in the UK of 14 years, and those caught out by banks’ sophisticated fraud filters could find it difficult to open an account elsewhere, it added.
“This is a serious issue that not only has consequences for the money mule, but for society as a whole,” argued Cifas CEO, Simon Dukes.
“The criminals behind money mules often use the cash to fund major crime, like terrorism and people trafficking. It’s this side of money muling that we want to raise awareness of with our new film. We want to educate young people about how serious this fraud is in the hope that they will think twice before getting involved.”
Back in May New York police busted a multi-million-dollar financial fraud ring which is alleged to have lured young participants via enticing social media ads.
Source: Information Security Magazine