Beware Easy Money – Don’t Be A Money Mule
At DPS Computing, we believe we have a duty to help people use technology for good and avoid many pitfalls and scams that may be out there.
Last month, we covered how to keep yourself safe from Wire Transfer scams – they’ve been around for a while, but they’ve certainly made a resurgence recently. The details may change, but the premise stays the same.
Back in July, we covered the new scam tricking people into fraudulent Universal credit scams and how to avoid them.
This month, we’re linking onto an important issue being raised by Nationwide Building Society – Don’t become a money mule.
What’s a Money Mule?
Basically, someone who accepts money into their bank account and then transfers it to another account but getting to keep a slice of the money transferred. It’s billed as easy and free money.
But far from freedom, this money could mean that you end up spending up to 14 years in prison.
Why? Because this money is likely to be linked to criminal activity such as illicit drugs, human trafficking, modern slavery or terrorism – to name a few.
What Do I Need To Know?
Adverts are being used to target everyone – but a particular demographic that is being targetted is young people and a particular platform being used to reach said young people is social media.
Remember to remind your family and friends – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
The advert may seem genuine – but it’s anything but. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Don’t respond to these offers – doing so may mean you end up on a ‘suckers’ list where your details are sold and other people try to rope you into dodgy activities or scam you yourself. Increasing the amount of spam you get will only increase the likelihood that you may one day fall for it – don’t make yourself a target.
Is It Genuine?
Be wary of offers from overseas companies and individuals where it can be much harder to identify the veracity of their offer.
Be wary of people who make unsolicited offers out of the blue on social media, dating applications and to your e-mail inbox – particularly when they are using free e-mail addresses such as those provided by Outlook (Hotmail) or Gmail.
Genuine offers – of free money (rare!) or otherwise – will never ask you to accept money into your account and forward it on keeping a portion for yourselves. This money is likely being laundered.
A lot of money for little effort doesn’t exist. It can be tempting in tough times, particularly against the backdrop of austerity, to be taken in by these people – and that’s exactly the desperation (or greed) that is a natural human instinct they are trying to play on. Don’t fall for it!
More advice can be found from Nationwide Building Society.