New figures have revealed that the fraudulent use of bank accounts has risen. Money muling can occur when criminal gangs, often disguised as ‘online merchants’ or those offering a genuine-sounding job or business opportunity, target individuals to launder the proceeds of their crimes.
There have been almost 16,000 instances of the fraudulent use of bank accounts during the first five months of 2010, according to CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service.
What is money muling?
Money muling is when a criminal persuades an individual to use their bank accounts to launder the proceeds of crime. Most money mules have not been bribed or paid to do it and are unwitting accomplices, but they can still be held accountable for breaking the law. Those who have found themselves involved in the fraud report that they were approached by ‘online merchants’ or other individuals offering job or business opportunities that seemed genuine.
The fraudulent use of bank accounts can also involve doctoring cheques and other forms of cheque fraud.
Read more about money laundering mules on CIFAS’ website.
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To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.
Cheque frauds - types of cheque fraud and how to spot it
Business opportunity fraud - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Employment fraud - this can be how money mules are first approached by fraudsters