Did you ever stop to think that a criminal could be posing as an employer? You may be offered a job which involves asking you to receive money into your bank account and transferring it to another account, letting you keep some for yourself.
The money you’re transferring is stolen, and what you’re doing is called money laundering, which is illegal. Involvement in money laundering can lead to a criminal sentence of up to fourteen years in prison. People recruited by criminals to help transfer stolen money are known as ‘money mules’, or ‘money transfer agents’.
Many of the criminals carrying out this type of fraud are located abroad, so a money mule based in the UK is required to send the money overseas. Criminals try to dupe innocent victims into laundering money on their behalf. They normally do this by pretending to offer legitimate jobs via newspapers or the internet, and often target vulnerable groups such as migrant workers or university students who may be tempted by the lure of a seemingly easy way to make extra cash.
Although the prospect of making some easy money may appear attractive, any money or ‘wages’ that you are given will be recovered by your bank because they are the proceeds of fraud. You will be the easiest link in the chain to track down and will be involved in any resulting police investigation. Your bank account will be closed down and details of the activity shared with other banks, making it hard for you to open up a bank account in the future.
Ignorance is no excuse – allowing your bank account to be used for fraud can result in fourteen years in prison!
Make sure you know and trust the person you are giving your bank account details to.