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Money Mule Scams Up By More Than A Quarter Amongst Young People

15 Oct 2018

Money Mule Scams Up By More Than A Quarter Amongst Young People

The number of young people falling victim to money mule scams has risen by a worrying 26 per cent over the last twelve months.

The latest figures from the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, Cifas, has revealed that so far in 2018, over 9,600 people aged 21 or under have been used as money mules. That figure is up by more than a quarter from around 7,500 during the previous twelve months.

So-called ‘money mules’ are people who allow their own bank accounts to be used to clean fraudulent or criminal funds. Job boards are often used to advertise fake jobs to students and other young people which are actually money mule tasks in disguise. People who commit the crime, either willingly or by being tricked into it, could face potential prison sentences of up to 14 years.

The rise in money mule scams was part of wider research by Cifas which also showed that the number of under-21s who had fallen victim to other fraudulent activities such as plastic payment card fraud and identity theft, was up by 79 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Commenting on this year’s findings, Mike Haley, the CEO of Cifas, said: “Our new figures are alarming to say the least. Young people are increasingly at risk of becoming victims of identify fraud, with little idea of how to protect themselves. For all of us - as parents, teachers, and responsible citizens - we have a duty to ensure we’re taking every opportunity to educate young people on the dangers of becoming a fraud victim. And, equally, a perpetrator of fraud.”

“As the rise in money mules demonstrates, many young people seem unaware of the risks they’re running and the consequences it can have not only for the individual concerned but for society as a whole. More needs to be done to raise awareness about the harm of fraud and financial crime. We’re calling on banks in particular to ensure that they are providing young people with the necessary knowledge to prevent them falling victim to fraud or becoming fraud perpetrator,” explained Mr Haley.

Money muling and other job scams which affect students and young people generally are subjects which are very important to e4s, which is why we are a member of SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation designed to support job seekers, agency staff and contractors with suspected fraud.

Money muling is also a subject we’ve covered in detail on our website previously. You can find out more about the different sorts of scams, how you can spot them and what you can do about trying to help stop them by taking a look at our blogpost about Student Money Laundering Scams.

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