Money muling scams: What are they and how can you avoid them?

On June 12, 2023, Experian, an Irish data analytics and consumer credit reporting company, launched a new service that enables banks to detect and shut down 'money mule' accounts, a kind of money laundering account.

Recent research from Experian indicates that 42% of first-party current account fraud is now mule-related. What exactly is money muling? What are the red flags to look out for and how can we protect ourselves? Read on to find the answers.

What is money muling?

Money muling is a type of money laundering often employed by criminals to transfer illegally obtained funds to different bank accounts, locally and internationally, through an intermediary. These intermediaries, known as money mules, are often unknowingly involved in illegal activity and can face legal consequences.

What are the warning Signs to Look For?

  • Money muling scams may begin with an unsolicited email or social media message offering easy money.

  • These messages often promise significant financial rewards for little to no effort, without any requirement for specific education or experience.

  • Suspicious job descriptions from money muling scammers typically only mention using a bank account to move money around, with all interactions and transactions occurring online.

  • Scammers may present themselves as legitimate overseas companies searching for local or national agents.

How To Stay Safe?

  • If you receive attention-grabbing emails that seem too good to be true, don’t reply or click on any links.

  • If you receive an offer of employment, do your due diligence.

  • Check the details of the company offering the job, request additional information, and verify the authenticity of the organisation before proceeding with the job.

  • Unless you know and trust the person, never share your bank account details with anyone.

  • Stop all transactions immediately if you think you are involved in a money muling scam.

  • Notify your bank, the service you used to transfer the funds, and your local or national police immediately.

Therefore, money muling is a serious offence that can have severe legal ramifications. It is essential to stay vigilant and be aware of scammers' tactics to avoid getting caught up in fraudulent activities. You can protect yourself from financial loss and legal entanglements by staying informed and taking the necessary precautions.

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