Money laundering crime
Young people are often unaware that acting as a 'money mule' means they are involved in money laundering - which is a crime.
Anyone allowing their account to be used for this could lead to them serving a custodial sentence.
Young people are often recruited as 'money mules' through social media, or approached to take part in person at school or college.
It may seem like an easy way to make money, but as well as being illegal, being a 'money mule' means they may also be helping to fund serious crimes such as drug dealing and people trafficking.
If a bank account is used for money laundering, it can lead to the loss of that account and it could be extremely difficult to get a new one.
The increasing use of social media means that young people have never been more vulnerable to becoming victims of fraud and scams.
Spot the signs
Spot the tell-tale signs that someone might be involved in 'money muling'. Parents and guardians should:
- make sure their child doesn't give their bank account details to anyone unless they know and trust them
- tell their child to be wary of unsolicited offers of easy money, because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- look out for their child suddenly having extra cash, buying expensive new clothes or electronics with very little explanation as to how they got the money
- be alert to any changes in their child's behaviour - a young person involved in 'money muling' may become more secretive, withdrawn or appear stressed
Parents and guardians should not contact anyone they suspect of organising 'money muling'. They should contact the police on 101, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
You can get further advice on how to stay scam aware at this link: