Police have issued a chilling warning to parents in Gedling borough about their children becoming “money mules”.
A money mule is someone who transfers criminal money through their own bank account on behalf of someone else, they may be paid for doing so. Criminals use money mules to launder the profits of their crimes. This is money laundering.
Police say they need parents help to stop criminals targeting their children by warning them about the dangers of becoming a money mule.
Young people are often unaware that acting as a money mule is illegal. They are approached to take part online, through social media, in person, at school, college or sports clubs. If convicted of money laundering, the maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment.
In 2018, there were 5,819 known cases of young people aged 14-18 using their bank accounts for money muling in the UK.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: “It may seem like an easy way to make some cash, but as well as being illegal, being a money mule means you will also be helping to fund serious crimes such as drug dealing and people trafficking.
“When you are caught your bank account will be closed and you will find it difficult to open an account elsewhere or get a mobile phone contract or credit in the future.
“Remember, never give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.”
“The increasing use of social media means that young people have never been more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime. Many youngsters are unaware of the devastating consequences that crime can have on their future opportunities, and so parents, carers, guardians and teachers, must play an important role by ensuring young people have the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to prevent them from unwittingly falling victim to crime, or even become perpetrators themselves.”
A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “Involvement in crime, including money laundering could have a life changing impact on your child’s future. Conviction will limit their education, employment and financial opportunities”.
Is your child being used as a ‘money mule’? Signs to look out for…
- Make sure your child doesn’t give their bank account details to anyone other than parents, carers or guardians.
- Tell them to be cautious of offers of easy money, because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Look out for your child suddenly having extra cash, buying expensive new clothes or electronics with very little explanation as to how they got the money.
- A young person involved in money muling may become more secretive, disengaged or isolated and may appear anxious.
Further information and advice about money mules is available at www.moneymules.co.uk .
In an emergency Nottinghamshire Police can be contacted by dialling 999 or if you wish to report a crime and for non-emergency matters please dial 101.