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Teenagers' bank accounts targeted for money laundering

Recently more and more DSLs have spoken about how teenagers with bank accounts have been targeted by criminals to helped them launder money. The money gathered by drug dealing and other crimes is given to a young person to put into their bank account and transfer it into another account, keeping a proportion themselves. These unwitting victims are know as a money mule.

Social media is used to recruit the youngsters with promises of 'easy money' working 'from home'. The number of cases of 14 to 18-year-olds who have allowed their bank accounts to be used to divert funds has grown by 73% over the last two years to nearly 6,000 cases. Getting involving in this fraud can lead to a jail sentence of up to 14 years and lead to problems with banking in the future.

A website have been launched to raise awareness of this fraud by UK Finance, a partnership of banks and Cifas, a not-for-profit fraud prevention organisation.

Top Tips from Action Fraud

1. Keep control. Don’t give away any of your bank account details, unless you know and trust the person receiving them – and never let anyone else access your account. Alarmingly, nearly one in seven (14 per cent) over 18 - 25s have shared their PIN with someone else.

2. Money for nothing? Be cautious of unsolicited offers of easy money as this is a common tactic used by criminals to recruit money mules.

3. Tell someone you trust. Whether it’s a parent, teacher or friend, make sure you tell someone you trust about any concerns you might have.

4. Take time to think. Remember that letting someone else use your bank account is a potentially serious crime which could damage your financial future – is it worth it?

5. Too good to be true? Remember the simple rule of thumb about offers of easy money: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Explainer Video: https://moneymules.co.uk/what-is-a-money-mule.html

Don't be Fooled website: https://moneymules.co.uk