Stay alert for job ads and social media posts that promise easy money. Don't be a money mule.

Money mules help criminal syndicates to remain anonymous while moving funds around the world.

They are often individuals who, often unwittingly, have been recruited by criminal organisations as money laundering agents to hide the origin of money obtained via criminal activities.

Tricked by the promise of easy money, mules transfer stolen funds between accounts, often in different countries, on behalf of others and are usually offered a share of the funds that pass through their own accounts.

This is money laundering, it’s illegal, and the consequences can be severe for you.

How are money mules recruited?

Criminals will attempt to recruit money mules by:

  • Direct contact in person on the street.
  • Contact via email.
  • Social media (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).
  • Instant messaging (e.g. WhatsApp).
  • Online ads (e.g. job ads or classifieds).

You should be suspicious of any opportunity to make easy money. Ignore any job offer involving money transfers through your bank account, regardless of how authentic they may seem.

If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Watch out for these warning signs

The following characteristics do not necessarily indicate money mule solicitation, but they are commonly used:

  • Job adverts from overseas companies seeking 'local / national agents' to act on their behalf.
  • Poor sentence structure with grammar mistakes.
  • They will often copy a genuine company’s website and use a similar URL to make the scam seem authentic.
  • The sender's email address is likely to use a free web-based service (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.) that does not match the company's name.
  • No education or experience requirements listed.
  • All interactions and transactions regarding the job will be done online.
  • The specifics of the job always include using your bank account to move money.

As with most scams, if it looks too good to be true – it probably is.

Remember these prevention tips:

  • Research any company or person that offers you a job.
  • Never provide your bank account to anyone unless you know or trust them.
  • Decline any easy money offers.

It’s dangerous and it's not worth it:

  • You could be physically attacked or threatened with violence if you don’t continue to help the criminals.
  • You will be helping criminals to anonymously move illegal funds around the world.
  • You may not be able to receive social benefits in the future.
  • You could face a prison sentence, a fine or community service.
  • Your bank account can be closed and you won’t be able to open a new one.

What to do if you think you may be involved in a money muling scheme?

Stop transferring money immediately. Notify your bank and alert the police. If you have concerns about your account contact us on 13 61 91.

10 January 2022