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A money laun­dering bank account in your name?

Banking apps and video iden­ti­fi­ca­tion make it pos­sible. Anyone looking for work or extra income should beware of job offers which just sound too good to be true. Crim­i­nals are trying to rope the unsus­pecting into their own money laun­dering activities.

In actual fact, the process is a noto­rious one. Crim­i­nals pub­lish some attrac­tive-sounding job offers requiring no great effort and often no spe­cific exper­tise either. These ads are meant to attract cred­u­lous people, asking them to use their own bank account to carry out finan­cial trans­ac­tions in the con­text of their pur­ported “employ­ment”. Since the monies han­dled have their origin in crim­inal offences, these so-called “money mules” unwit­tingly become involved in money laundering.

In our times of e-banking, this phe­nom­enon – already described in our article on Money Mules (finan­cial agents) – has evolved fur­ther. As reported by the Zurich can­tonal police, crim­i­nals are cur­rently using the same kind of approach to per­suade their vic­tims to open a new bank account. These vic­tims are asked to test a new banking app by using it to open an account in their own name. In reality though, the banking app is real, and it is a real bank account they open. From then on, this account can be exploited by these fraud­sters for their own machinations.

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