Money mule: Financial agent or money launderer?
Be wary of lucrative job adverts promising quick cash. You could be used by criminals as money launderer and be liable to prosecution.
An enticing job offer that will turn you into a criminal
Criminals use online platforms, social media and fake websites to recruit money mules. The role advertised is often for «financial agents».
The adverts target job seekers and people with money problems. They promise easy money but all the criminals want is to use their «recruits»’ accounts to launder their illicit funds.
«If you take part in a “money mule” scheme, you are committing a criminal offence!»
How to spot money mule job offers
- high commissions for little work
- no prior training or expertise required
- job offers on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook
- no specific job description
- international company seeking a local representative
- the company’s email address is a free service such as Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail
- adverts contain poor grammar and/or spelling mistakes
- the companies often have a seemingly legitimate website
- others misrepresent legitimate companies
- you are asked to receive money into your own bank account
- you transfer it by letter, parcel, cryptocurrency or money transfer services
The money in question invariably comes from online criminal activities (such as order or e-banking fraud) or drug or people trafficking. Anyone aiding such activities is liable to prosecution for money-laundering..
You can protect yourself by adopting the following measures
- be wary of lucrative job adverts promising quick cash
- never allow others to use your bank account
- only ever pass on your bank account details to people whom you know
- google the purported «employer»
- find out what the job involves
- immediately report to the police any suspicious job offers
If you have already transferred money…
- You believe you are a financial agent?
- Stop all payments!
- Inform your banc about the transactions.
- Go to the police!
Contact the police
When you file a report, the police will launch a money-laundering investigation. Even if you have acted as a financial agent yourself and may have broken the law in doing so, you should nevertheless report it to the police. Only that way can the police obtain precise information about the offence and focus their investigations. The intelligence gained can be used to stop criminals in their tracks and prevent others from falling victim.
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