A young man from Enfield who allowed his account to be used by fraudsters to transfer funds has was sentenced today at Inner London Crown Court, and received a 12 month community order and 280 hours of unpaid work.
Police from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), which investigated the case, said it is a “stark warning” to young people that those acting as money mules will be caught and punished.
Derrick Koomson, 26 years old, of Keys House, Beaconsfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of criminal property following the transfer of £28,000 to his account by fraudsters.
He was found to have willingly allowed his bank accounts to be used to receive over £9,800 in March 2016 on behalf of fraudsters, followed by another £18,000 of fraudulently obtained funds in June of the same year. The defendant’s phone revealed exchanges of text messages with the fraudsters, giving up use of his accounts, cards and online banking in exchange for a ‘cut’.
The case was referred onto the DCPCU after one of the fraudsters’ victims reported a suspected fraudulent transaction to their bank. All victims were fully refunded.
The case comes amid a significant rise in money mule fraud in recent years, with figures published by Cifas showing cases involving 18 to 24-year olds have more than doubled since 2013.
Detective Constable David Hughes, of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, said:
“This case serves as a stark warning that those who allow their bank account to be used by fraudsters will be caught and punished.
“Acting as a money mule is a crime which will leave you with a criminal record and a potential prison sentence. Those caught will also have their bank account closed and face difficulties opening one elsewhere.
“Young people should remember that no legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. If an offer of easy money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
For more information, please contact the DCPCU press office on 0207 416 6750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor
1. Cifas published figures last year showing there were 8,652 cases of 18-24-year-olds having their bank accounts used by fraudsters from January to September 2017, double the number of cases involving 18-24-year-olds in the same period in 2013.
2. Financial Fraud Action UK (now part of UK Finance) runs a joint campaign with Cifas called ‘Don’t Be Fooled,’ to inform students and young people about the risks of giving out their bank details and deter them from becoming money mules. This includes the following advice:
– No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
– Be especially wary of job offers from people or companies overseas as it will be harder for you to find out if they really are legitimate.
– Never give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust.
3. The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique pro-active police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an on-going brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff. Established in April 2002, the DCPCU has since achieved an estimated £516 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.