Crimestoppers warns students against ‘money mule’ fraudsters with new campaign
Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is launching a campaign at a number of universities across the UK in the coming months raising awareness about the dangers of being conned by fraudsters looking to lure students into illegal money laundering activities. [12 February 2013]
The ‘Don’t be a Mule’ campaign is being launched to educate both students and staff at universities in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, and Northampton of the dangers that fraudsters can pose when approaching individuals with ‘too good to be true’ job offers.
In what is known as a ‘money mules’ scam, criminals use methods to target students such as putting adverts in newspapers or leaflets through doors offering good money for very little work. The work usually involves money being transferred into the student’s account by the fraudster, with the instruction to forward that money to an offshore account using various international wiring services.
This is actually a criminal offence and what the individual is taking part in is money laundering.
Unfortunately, pleading ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for those who become caught up in this crime, and it could lead to their bank account being frozen or even result in a custodial sentence.
Not only is it devastating for a student and their future to be in jeopardy, as part of their activity for the money launderers they will also have assisted in transferring large sums of money to individuals or groups involved in serious organised crime including drug dealing, theft and human trafficking of which there could be countless more victims.
Crimestoppers staff and volunteers will be visiting the respective universities to hand out materials and talk to students about the risk of becoming a money mule, while also making them aware of the fact they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.
If a student has been approached by what they believe is a money mule scam or if they believe they know of one taking place, then they should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit our website www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal information will be taken, no statement will have to be given to the police, and there will be no requirement to stand up in court.
If you think you might already be part of a money mule scam, please act fast and contact your bank and the police.
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