A money mule is someone who allows criminals to use their bank account to launder their money. You will be asked to allow this money to be deposited into your bank account and then transfer it to another account. This money comes from sexual exploitation, human trafficking, fraud, drugs and even terrorism. Allowing your bank account to be used to launder this money is a criminal offence.
A product mule is someone who receives deliveries of packages to their halls of residence or home address on behalf of others for payment. These parcels are then collected by another party or forwarded on to another location. These packages may contain illegal goods such as drugs, firearms components and other dangerous and illicit products. Taking receipt of any such illegal item is a criminal offence.
Students are particularly vulnerable to these kind of threats. You can find current events and information days by searching for #moneymule and #productmule on facebook, twitter and instragram.
How the Fraudsters Operate
Criminals often try to recruit mules by the following means:
- Unsolicited e-mails asking for assistance.
- Contact via social networking sites.
- False vacancies on websites posing as legitimate businesses.
- Classified, legitimate looking adverts in the press and online.
Take the following steps to avoid becoming a victim:
- Be wary of offers of large amounts of cash for very little work or no prior experience – this could indicate a fraudulent scheme.
- Always be cautious of overseas offers as it can be difficult to verify identity.
- Always research any company that offers you a job.
- NEVER give your bank details to anyone unless you know and trust them and even then be cautious.